What is a Trust and who are Trustee’s?

Trusts are something I had never heard of before joining Proadvice, but since learning about it I have learnt how important it can be.

Well to start off with, what is a Trust? When you are taking out your Life Insurance you will normally be asked if you want to put your Life Insurance into Trust. Through doing this you will be ensuring that on your death the money provided goes to your chosen individuals, e.g. your children; this will be the job of your chosen Trustees.

Now to answer question number two; what are Trustee’s? As you are no longer there to explain where you would like the money to go your trustee’s will act on your behalf to ensure that the payout goes to your chosen beneficiaries. They will almost act like an Executor on a will; it’s that simple. Anyone can be a trustee, but our advisers at Proadvice normally advise that you choose around 3 or 4 people around the same age as you or a few years below. This is to increase the chances of your chosen trustees being alive and old enough to do their job as a trustee, when it comes to it.

There are many benefits of putting your Life Insurance into Trust, some are:
• Ensuring that the money goes to your chosen individuals.
• Ensuring that your loved ones receive their payout much sooner, due to the payout
not becoming part of your estate.
• You also won’t have to wait for a will to be read or probate to be completed.
• The payout will also become free from inheritance tax so your family will get the full
If you would like to find out more about putting your Life Insurance into trust, or if you are looking to take out Insurance, then call Proadvice today on 01933 417300 to talk to one of our Financial Advisors.

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Soaring Childcare Costs and the Importance of Financial Protection

Currently in the UK it can cost up to £229,251 to raise a child from birth through to the age of 21.  This figure has increased by 63% since 2003, at nearly twice the rate of annual inflation over the last 12 years.

Figures collected by Liverpool Victoria have revealed that parents now spend nearly a third of their gross annual income on raising a child; spending less money on food, hobbies and toys for their children and more on education and childcare, due to their increase in cost.  Liverpool Victoria’s ‘Cost of a Child’ report has revealed that education and childcare, for example, nurseries and babysitters, cover 62% of the amount it costs to raise a child, which amounts to £141,905!!

If you have a young family, one of the main priorities when it comes to managing your finances is probably childcare.  Like most family’s who have young children you need to be able to afford to pay your child-minder, babysitter or nursery costs, if you are in need of childcare.  The cost of childcare varies across the UK, but on average you can expect to pay up to £67,586 on childcare alone.  Unsurprisingly, the area where parents pay the highest average amount for childcare is in London; where you can pay an average of £81,276 over the course of your child’s life.  Yorkshire & Humberside pay the least with an average of £61,397.

Everyone knows how expensive education is these days, with the cost of school equipment, school uniforms, PE Kits, school trips etc. but do you know how much it truly costs?  The average cost to give your child an education (including University) is £73,803, which is a 126.4% increase since 2003.

Now that it has been put into figures what would you do if you lost your source of income? How would you pay for your child care?  How would you afford to give your child an education to stabilise their future?  This is the importance of having financial protection, should the worst ever happen and you found yourself not being able to pay for the day-to-day essentials for you and your family a financial ‘back up’ could be your life saviour.

One way that you can protect you and your family financially is through applying for insurance, such as Income Protection.  Insurance is in place to provide you with a lump sum if for some reason you need extra money coming in. However, this can depend on what insurance you have in place.  For example, if you have:

• Income Protection Cover then your insurance you will receive regular payments to replace your income if for some reason you are unable to work.
• Mortgage protection Cover is in place to help you pay off your mortgage in the event of critical illness or death.
• Life insurance and Critical illness Cover can be taken out separately or together.  They could pay out if you die (Life Insurance) or if you are diagnosed with a critical illness (Critical Illness).  However, it is important to keep in mind that not all Critical Illnesses are covered.

James Barker, Company Director of ProAdvice, would like to advise anyone reading this blog posting that “Protecting yourself financially is one of the most important steps you can take in protecting you and your family in a time of crisis.  You can do this in a number of different ways, either through Income Protection, Mortgage Protection or Life and Critical Illness insurance, or any combination of these policies.  Any of these will provide you and your family with a cushion to fall back on if the worst was to happen and you had one less income coming in.”

If you are looking to apply for insurance or even looking for a quote, please don’t delay give ProAdvice a call on 01933 417300 today.

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Smokers and life insurance

Are you a smoker and thinking of taking out a life insurance policy? Then maybe this little piece of information will be invaluable to you.

BBC news has announced a new way of helping smokers to quit smoking, through a blood test. Unfortunately, bad news for anyone afraid of needles or blood.

Research was conducted by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and announced in a Lancet journal, suggests that the blood test could help people choose a stop smoking strategy that would provide them with the best chance of quitting. This strategy can be identified through measuring how quickly the individual’s body breaks down the nicotine in their system. Therefore, boosting the individual’s chances of successfully quitting, and them not being part of the 60% who start smoking again after their first week of trying to quit.

Being a non smoker could typically reduce your premium, because you are seen as being less likely to claim on your insurance, through suffering an early death or a critical illness.

If you already have insurance and are thinking of quitting then it is slightly different. To be

considered a non- smoker you need to have not been smoking for at least 12 months, then you can think about trying to lower your premium. To succeed in doing this it may be easier to take out a new policy instead of trying to amend your existing one. This is due to it being quicker and easier, to choose a new insurer, fill in the forms and have one big step removed (having tests conducted to prove you are a non smoker). However, it might be a good idea to keep in mind that if you swap your policy after quitting smoking, it can sometimes lead to the loss of other benefits, e.g. it could lead to changes in definitions on critical illness cover policies.

Many people believe that if they lie about being a non- smoker when taking out insurance, they won’t get found out, which isn’t the case at all. Insurers check 20% of applicants in order to discover who is lying about smoking. If you decide to lie then the insurance company either won’t pay out at all, or they won’t pay out the full amount. For example, they may take out what they are owed from your pay out, which no one wants.

If you are thinking of taking out an insurance policy or new insurance policy, due to you having stopped smoking, then give our team a call on 01933 417300.

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Life Insurance…. A beginners Guide

When I joined ProAdvice two weeks ago, I knew nothing about Insurance. All I knew was that you can claim money, for when things go bad. Even then, I only knew about car insurance and home insurance, basically because my parents have those policies. I never knew how many different types of life and protection insurance are out there and how complicated it can sometimes be. I soon learned without the right help you really can spend too much money on a policy that is not suitable for you. Worse, you might not be covered for something that you thought or expected to be covered for.

Over the past few weeks though, I have learned a lot. I have watched DVD’s, read magazine articles, blogs, documents and books all about insurance. I have also learned about the different factors that can have an effect on the cost of your insurance. For example did you know your age, health and family’s medical history, even your lifestyle, (how much alcohol you drink a week and the amount of exercise you do) can influence your premiums?

As part of my training I watched two DVD’s created by Bright Grey I learned about the advice and support that is available to you when you claim on your insurance not just the financial pay-out. ‘Helping hand’ is a claim free scheme designed to enhance the help that is available to people through the NHS. This will be done through the client being assigned their own personal nurse adviser, who suits their personal situation. The nurse will provide clients with more support at a personal level to help them recover more quickly. The nurse will be available for as long as you need them, to offer information on the illness or to just to be there to talk to or listen. They can also arrange counselling, therapies, specialist equipment or a home visit.

Many people say life insurance is for everyone else. When you die it ensures that the people you care about most are financially protected. Whether it is to ensure your mortgage can be paid or to ensure your children can be provided for while they’re growing up and they can no longer rely on your income. However, what it does for you is provide you with peace of mind knowing everything would be taken care of in the event of you no longer being around.

It can take some of the weight off of your shoulders, through taking away many of the financial worries you might have.

Through all of my research on insurance, I found out that the most often asked questions are:

  • What type of cover is best for me?
    Through talking to an insurance advisor, like ProAdvice, you will be able to find out what type of insurance is best for you. Your adviser will match all the influencing factors that apply to you, to an insurance policy that will benefit you the most. This is why you are usually asked questions when you apply for insurance, and why it is important for you to answer them honestly and to the best of your knowledge. Any information that is false or that you omit to give could cause their policy to be invalid and the claim could be
  • How much cover will I need?
    Normally, the more protection your life insurance policy offers, the higher your premiums will be. Some policy claims should be straightforward, for example mortgage claims; others can be slightly more complicated, how much would my family need to maintain their lifestyle? ProAdvice can work with you to tailor your policy to suit your circumstances.
  • How long should the cover last?
    Life insurance can last either for a fixed period of time; which is known as ‘term insurance’. Or it can cover you for the rest of your life, which is known as ‘whole of life’ insurance plans.

    If you’re looking for insurance in order to cover your mortgage, or to ensure your family are financially protected while your children are growing up, then term insurance will be more appropriately suited to you. This is due to the length of which the mortgage lasts. With term insurance, you would be able to cover your children until they are no longer financially dependent.

Whole of life plans are typically used to cover funeral arrangements. However there are other uses to. For example, business protection, family protection or estate planning etc. If you need some advice or further help then call Proadvice, to speak to one of our advisers on 01933 417300.

  •  Should I have cover for my partner and I?

Traditionally, the family member with the highest wage would take out life insurance. However, even if your partner earns less, or they are a stay at home parent; your family could still be affected financially if they died. This, maybe due to the fact you might need to find the money to cover child care, or domestic work costs.

If you and your partner were considering life cover for you both, you could either buy joint life insurance or two separate policies. Joint life insurance will only pay out on the first death, at which time the policy will expire. If you decide to opt for two separate policies you could receive a pay out when either partner died, therefore offering you both a higher level of protection.

You can find out more about life insurance at ProAdvice’s FAQ page or you could call us on 01933 417 300.

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Income Protection…….It will never happen to me?

Being in denial is one of the biggest flaws humans can face; especially when it comes to our own lives or the lives of the people we care about.

But for a minute though, think about what could happen if you lose your income. Would you be living off of one income or would you have no income? Could you even afford to pay you bills or your mortgage?

That’s the aim of income protection. It is to try and prevent you from having no income and not being able to afford to support your family. Income protection does this by providing you with an income should you stop getting paid. It can cover everything from a cold or a broken arm, to more serious conditions, such as, a heart attack or cancer. The plans normally top up any work benefits you may be receiving.

There are two main types of income protection plans:

Short term income protection plans: such as ASU, (Accident, Sickness and Unemployment), which are open to almost anyone in employment. The short term insurance plans are normally taken out to cover a debt or mortgage and as you are usually asked no medical questions the plans often have full blanket exclusion on all pre- existing medical conditions, no matter how long ago they were. The insurance plans normally have a restricted pay- out period of one or two years, and have to be reviewed every year. This is due to the fact that the plan is a general insurance plan and the terms and conditions are subject to change.

Long term income protection plans: such as, permanent health insurance, are linked to your income and are built around your job and medical history. There is no need for a loan or mortgage to set the plan up unlike with short term protection plans. The plans pay a percentage of your salary during a period of sickness, and normally run until you can go back to work; or until you have reached retirement. Due to this there is no need to review your plan yearly. However, it is advised that you keep in contact with your ProAdvice financial adviser and update them if there is any change in your job, salary or sick-pay. This is due to the fact that a change in your circumstances could reduce your premium cost.

When buying income protection cover you will need to make sure you get ‘own occupation’ rather than suited or work tasks. Many people take out income protection believing they are covered, but, then get a nasty shock, when it comes to them claiming and they find out they claimed with the wrong classification, which as a result will stop a pay- out. Here at ProAdvice we will help you to make sure you get the right insurance policy, to match your circumstances.

If you are looking for more information on income protection then visit our income protection FAQ page. Or, if you are thinking of income protection then call ProAdvice on 01933 417300.

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Critical illness Cover…….What is it?

Before, I started at ProAdvice, all I knew about critical illness cover was what it says in the name; you can get cover in the event you are diagnosed with a critical illness such as heart attack, cancer etc. Even though that is critical illness cover in a nut shell, it still doesn’t really tell you much, so the learning curve I have took over the past few weeks has been huge.

Critical illness cover is when an insurer will pay out a lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a specified critical illness. However, it is important to keep in mind, that no plan is identical, and the number of conditions that are covered can differ from one insurer to the next, as well as how the illnesses can be defined.

Financially protecting yourself, in case you are diagnosed with a critical illness, such as, some forms of heart attack, cancer or stroke is the best way to ensure you and your family are financially protected, if the worst comes to happens. However, it might be a good idea to keep in mind that not all types of cancer are covered by insurance.

With the right help, you can buy the right type of insurance for you and receive the benefits you deserve.

Critical illness insurance cover can ensure that you have enough money to live of off, if you cannot work and it can make sure you have enough money to clear the mortgage. Having this option will mean that you can take the necessary time off work to recover, and then go back to work when you are fit and ready to do so.

One of my training activities was to watch 2 DVD’s; in one of them an individual was diagnosed with MS. The individual was really pleased that they had decided to buy critical illness insurance in case an event like this was to happen. The individual and her family were also reassured and appreciative of the support they received from one of the advisors, which helped them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, due to the ‘helping hand scheme’. Which is a scheme designed to offer clients and their immediate family practical and emotional support, should they need to claim on your policy.

If you are looking for more information then visit our critical illness guide. Or, if you are looking for this kind of insurance protection, then call ProAdvice on 01933 417300.

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1/5 of funerals are funded by life insurance

Research carried out by Royal London has found, that a fifth (22%) of people fund their funerals through life insurance policies. The 22% figure includes over- 50’s plans; however the same number said the deceased had not left a fund to pay for their funeral.

Royal London conducted a study called the National Funeral Cost Index survey; which included 1,988 people who’d arranged a funeral in the past five years. According to this survey 76% of people had left behind a means for funding their funeral.

The study also revealed that the cost of a funeral differs depending on where you live. Charges can range from £2,859 for a cremation in Belfast to £6,899 for a burial in Beckenham, Kent. In the UK, the average cost for a cremation funeral is £3,163, while the average cost for a burial funeral is £3,933.

46% of respondents stated that costs for funerals were higher than expected, out of the 46% figure; 42% said they had problems meeting the funeral costs. Out of those who found costs higher than expected, 11% chose a cheaper funeral as a result. 20% of these went into debt in order to pay off the funeral costs, 28% borrowed the money from friends or a family member, and 35% used their own savings to meet the expense.

According to Royal London; in the UK, funeral debt has reached 142m, with 109,000 UK adults putting themselves in debt, in order to pay for funerals. The average cost of a UK funeral is now £3,551, and on average the debt is £1,305 on an individual basis.

Jerry Toher, chief executive of consumer division at Royal London Group, said: “We want to highlight the cost of funerals because, as our study shows, people are struggling to pay and this is causing household debt.”

This also is ProAdvice’s aim for this blog. We want to remind everyone how much it costs to pay for a funeral in this day and age. All it takes is for you to think and plan ahead. I know it sounds horrible, and no one likes to think about funerals, especially when it’s someone who we love and are close to, or even ourselves. But thinking ahead can reduce the amount of people who are put in the difficult situation, of unexpectedly having to pay for a funeral. All you need to do is think about your will; what you want your funeral to be like, if you want to be cremated or buried, if you want to be buried somewhere different, e.g. you home town etc. All this will have an effect on the costs of a funeral, especially if transport comes into the equation.

So make things easy for the people you care about, especially your executor and think ahead and start saving, because once it’s done it’s done.  Don’t forget the key ingredient, inform someone of your plans.

If you have made no provision for your funeral, have no savings assigned to this inevitability and you want to take the first step in planning for the future, please contact 01933 417300.

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Many people like to take part in the latest campaign craze, whether it’s taking no make- up selfies for Cancer research or the ALS Ice bucket challenge for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association or the British equivalent, the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Yes, they are fun to take part in and you can nominate your family or friends, but it can be very easy to forget why you are taking part in the first place.

All we are going to do is to try and remind you why these challenges have been set up, and to try and show you why donating can help, as well as having fun and gaining a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

This month is ‘Movember’, a challenge to grow a moustache through the month of November in the aid of Prostate and testicular cancer. The main aim of the campaign is to get people talking about men’s health issues and to change people’s attitudes towards it.

The Movember organisers have a quote on their website; “Knowledge is power. Prevention is everything. Early detection is key”, and they are absolutely right. Spotting an illness or disease, like cancer early; can increase your odds of survival by a maximum of 10 years. This is due to the fact that the chance of treatment being successful is considerably higher, if it is caught and treated at an early stage.

The Movember organisers created the campaign so men had an ‘ice-breaker’, through them growing a moustache. It could become the ‘ice-breaker’ some men need, in order to start a conversation they find difficult (talking about their health issues), whether it’s with a friend or a GP.

It is in the hope of encouraging Movember participants to talk about their own health and ask questions they might have previously felt uncomfortable about asking. If you are unclear about the details or symptoms of testicular or prostate cancer, or even mental health issues, then visit the Movember’s key details page on how to spot the early symptoms of cancer.

According to the Movember organisation in the UK, one man dies from prostate cancer every hour, while one in eight males will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their life time. Pruhealth have also stated that ‘testicular cancer is the most common cancer amongst young men aged 20 to 35 in the UK, with almost 2,000 cases identified each year.’

Educating people on how to spot the signs as early as possible is crucial in improving survival rates of cancer. So help to promote all types of cancer, by taking part and remembering to spread awareness and donating to the cause.

It’s still not too late to donate. If, you would like to donate, click here.

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If you suffered a critical illness, could your family maintain their standard of living?

Who do you know who suffered from cancer? According to Macmillan Cancer Support nearly 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year. Could your family live of off one income? It is events like these that make you stop and think about what could happen.

According to Cancer Research ‘more than 1 in 3 people in the UK will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime’. With the average length of time people needing to take of for treatment varying depending on your situation, it can be hard to determine how long you will be off of work for. This can create lots of problems, but with having critical illness insurance you can be reassured, through knowing that all your finances will be taken care of in the event of contracting one of the specified critical illnesses.

If you are thinking of critical illness insurance cover then ProAdvice could be for you!

Pro Advice will help you make sure that the impact your illness has on you is as small as possible. We will try and take away all the financial worries, leaving you more time to concentrate on yourself and your family. The payout you could receive can cover a number of things from:
• Making sure you can afford to pay your mortgage
• Making sure your partner can afford to take time off work
• Making sure you can afford to pay for your treatment
• Making sure you can afford to adapt your home to suit your new life style

You may not know that opting for the correct insurance through ProAdvice can help you to get support and advice from a team of specialists. Our team of professional advisers will be there to help you through the horrible situation you are in, by offering the best possible financial advice. However, you may need to keep in mind that not all forms of cancer can be covered by critical illness plans. For you to be covered your cancer will need to be of a certain type and at a certain stage. For example, less advanced cases of breast cancer are not covered.

If you are interested in knowing about your options, please click on the link below or call us today on 01933 417300.

Please also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for regular insurance updates.

By clicking on the some of the links in this article you will be directed to a third party website. Neither Pro Advice Financial Services Ltd nor Sesame Ltd, is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site.

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Is it time to think about Keyman insurance?

With the economy looking up, wage increases flat and inflation running at 1.2% (lowest in 5 years), many high skilled and key employees will be considering their options as we approach the end of the year.  According to Recruiter.co.uk “In the UK the percentage of businesses recruiting has increased from 45% to 47% since January and is predicted to improve by 11% over the final quarter.” This means that there are more opportunities for key employees than in recent years.

As an employer, where does this leave you and your business?

According to ‘Scottish Widows’ recent business protection report, “over three quarters (77%) of respondents report that there is at least one employee in their organisation whose loss through death, critical illness or long term incapacity would seriously impact the profitability or survival of the business.”

If you have an employee in your business who will be hard to replace, then maybe it is time to consider looking at keyman insurance.

Keyman insurance is a policy which protects your company should you lose a key worker due to illness or death. Many companies’ futures are tied up by a few key individuals who bring in the contracts and close the deals that keep the business ticking over.

Should you lose a key worker due to illness or injury your company’s future is threatened. The plan will help to cover the financial loss to the company and with some providers, give you access to a business substitutes bench to keep you going. They will help find a temporary well trained and suitable replacement within 48 hours. If your company needs to then find a full time member of staff, the insurer is there to help.

If you are interested in knowing about your options, please click on the link below or call us today on 01933 417300.

Please also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for regular insurance updates.


By clicking on the some of the links in this article you will be directed to a third party website. Neither Pro Advice Financial Services Ltd nor Sesame Ltd, is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the linked site.

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