Category: Insurance

Being Self-Sufficient When Self-Employed

premium payablesAs more people are leaving their very insecure permanent jobs and going down the self-employed route, there doesn’t seem to be many financial preparations for the future anymore. And it’s hardly surprising, given the current nature of unpredictability in the market. People are setting up their own businesses, and approximately 9 out of 10 small businesses are failing because people are ill-equipped, or the financial strain is way too much for them to bear. Living a lifestyle of self-employment can be all about living day to day while working all the hours under the sun. While this isn’t the most fruitful way to live your life, how can you make the most of a delicate financial situation while working for yourself?

Assess The Real Amounts Of Outgoings

Living in a hand to mouth way means that you seldom stop and take notice of how much you’re spending. If you get a big contract, you may feel that you are in the money and spend quite lavishly, which leaves you out of pocket when you’re left wanting for work. The best way to tackle this is to establish a base level of spending and stick to that, though it’s worth doing this when you’re in a good working contract and not when you’re struggling. Look at your outgoings and cut back on what isn’t essential. Have you been to the gym in the last 6 months? No? Get rid of it. Getting a selection of credit cards is handy when you’re self-employed is handy for expenses, but not for buying everyday items. The best way to avoid temptation is to lock them away and avoid remembering the PIN number. If you have pressing payments when you’re in the middle of a contract, you could use a credit card to make the payment and then use your earnings to pay off the card. With costs like insurance, you can pay insurance premium by credit card which helps to spread out the debt over a longer period of time. It all depends on the rate of the credit card you have. It is always ideal to have a 0% card for business expenses. So if you needed to travel to another country, the card could pay for the travel insurance.

Look At What You Can Claim Back

One thing that newly self-employed people forget about is what they can claim as expenses. Depending on where you live it varies, but if you operate out of your home, you can make the most of cutting back on your energy bills if you use one of your rooms as an office. So if you have a phone set up, the internet, and of course, all your electricity usage for your business coming out of this one room, you could try and claim some money back on your bills. The rules differ, but you can always speak to an accountant to get the bearings on this situation. Self-employment is a feast or a famine, but saving money is possible in light of circumstances. Just do your research, and make the most of what you are entitled to.

Get the Best Deal on your Home Insurance Policy

insurance for your homeA home insurance policy is a great way to secure one of your biggest investments. That said, a lot of us are quite apprehensive about the home insurance premium. But it is essential that you get a proper home insurance policy to safeguard yourself against any distress caused in the event of a mishap. It’s all about doing some homework and get your basics right when it comes to home insurance requirements.Don’t know how to go about it? No need to worry, read on.

Today you can find a lot of home policies from insurance providers, offering different types and levels of coverage. Naturally, the first thing therefore to do is to analyze your coverage requirements carefully. With this understanding in place, you will be in good position to know what to look for and make an informed decision.

Another thing on similar lines is to identify what type of coverage is needed for your house. Basically, there are two types of home insurance coverage one can opt for. A home insurance that covers just the structure will only insure your house against structural damages. While on the other hand, a home contents insurance policy will cover your household items against loss and damage. For instance, if you happen to live in an area that is prone to floods, go with structural home insurance. In case your house is susceptible to theft and burglary, it makes sense to go with the cover that offers content protection.

In the event that you need both types of coverage, it is advisable that you subscribe to the same home insurance company. This will help you save on the policy premium as well save the troubles and hassles arising during claims.

Another great tip to get the best home insurance deal is to compare policies online. You can find several aggregators and comparison sites on the internet that present you with in-depth comparisons. This is a great idea to avail the best offer. Additionally, there is a high chance that you will get a good discount on the premium too. This makes it a win-win for the customers.

Next, you should ponder about something called as the ‘excess’. Simply put, it is the amount that you pay out of your pocket during a claim settlement. The simple calculation here is that the excess is inversely proportional to the premium. However, this needs to be thought through as it is all about striking the right balance between the two.

You can also reduce your premium costs by installing safety equipment such as fire and smoke alarms. An anti-theft alarm is also something that’s gaining popularity these days. With such precautions in place, the insurance company will reduce the perceived risk for insuring your home and will in turn reduce the premium.

Once you have finalized the policy, you can aim for the no-claim-bonus. When you don’t file a claim for a certain period of policy coverage, the insurance company will offer a discount on the premium during renewal. However, this varies across companies and thus needs to be checked before buying. That’s it! With the help of the aforementioned pointers, you will be able to get the most out of your home insurance policy.

Buying or renewing a bike insurance is a click away: 10 Benefits to Go Online

byke insurance renewalIn today’s internet savvy world, we all purchase something or the other online. From apparels, airline tickets, to gadgets, literally EVERYTHING is only a few clicks away! Even while writing this article, I ordered for a purple kurta to be worn in my office Holi party!

In fact, it’s not just clothes and groceries that are selling like hotcakes in the internet world, as people are buying insurance online as well.

Either you or someone in your acquaintance might have bought bike insurance online. After all, as per the research across 18 cities, more and more people are buying insurance online. Of the 3007 respondents,24% purchased motor insurance online.

However, if you are reluctant about going ahead with the online mode and prefer the conventional mode of arranging a meeting with various insurance agents and visiting their offices for detailed discussion, this article is meant just for YOU!

Benefits of online buying/renewing bike insurance:

Buying or renewing bike insurance online can prove advantageous in various ways, such as:

1. Automated servicing: The online platform is not meant for buying insurance only. As a prompt and efficient servicing channel, current policyholders can adopt the online mode to renew their policy as well, regardless of whether they purchased their policy online or not. Further, with just one click, you can download product literature like brochures, policy wordings, etc. and get instant premium quotes online.

2. Online assistance: If you are purchasing the insurance online, it doesn’t mean you will not get any assistance. Most of the insurance companies have live chat facility on their websites where customers can seek clarification in case of any query. Also, customers can call on the toll-free number of insurance companies to clear all doubts. You can go further and ask the insurer for a face-to-face meeting. The insurer will send an executive for further assistance.

3. Paperless transactions: Getting into paperwork is both time consuming and boring. But when you go online to buy an insurance policy, it requires just a few easy steps. Besides being efficient, you are protecting the Mother Nature by going paperless!

4. Time-saving and convenient: To purchase insurance offline, you need to go through the tedious task of filling long insurance forms. However, when you buy insurance online, you need to submit only a few details. Also, at the time of policy renewal, it’s easy to reload your information. As the insurer already has your details, you only need to submit your policy number. Further, insurance companies have designed an easy-to-understand user interface which has made the entire process of buying the insurance quicker and easier. And who wouldn’t love to cut the hassles of going out and standing in long queues, when buying and renewing of bike insurance can be done from the comfort of home. While watching the ‘Friends’ season on television, or during the office break or even from your mobile, bike insurance can be purchased in a hassle-free manner.

5. Cheaper premium rates: It is disheartening to see that nearly 75% of two-wheelers plying on roads are uninsured even when it is mandatory to have a third-party insurance to ply your vehicle on roads. Many times, people avoid the insurance to save some penny.However, buying a bike insurance online ensures additional savings. The insurance quotes are given for free, and in fact, you can ask for as many quotes as you want. Moreover, there is no obligation to purchase either! As there is no involvement of any agent and the insurer saves on paper and administrative cost, the same is passed on to policyholders in the form of cheaper premium rates.

6. Away from nasty agents: Though, an insurance agent plays an important role, sometimes they may not be helpful. Often, insurance agents prove to be pushy and may even have vested interests in a particular insurance policy. But when you go online, you get an option of comparing and choosing the right insurance policy after analyzing every aspect carefully. Also, there will be no interference or biased suggestion from insurance agents!

7. Instant policy issuance: When you buy a policy offline, the insurer takes a lot of time in processing physical documents. Whereas, in the internet world, the processing of information is instant and so is the issuance of your bike insurance.

8. Storage of policy documents at one place: When you go online, you will always have the soft copy of your insurance policy in your email. It means, you can access your policy anytime and anywhere. Did you know the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI) has introduced a digital motor insurance initiative known as e-VahanBima?It says that you don’t need to carry your motor insurance policy document every time you take out your vehicle on the road.

9. Check policy review: As you do it at the time of purchasing other things on the internet, you can check the reviews of previous customers and their experience with the insurance company before going ahead. It means, you can compare features of different policies and know about the reputation of a company before zeroing in on.

10. No impact of demonetisation: I know, the ‘demonetisation phase’ is over, but what if the government comes up with its second season? As it is said, ‘once bitten, twice shy’ so, go for the online mode to ensure that any cash crunch scenario doesn’t affect the process of buying or renewing bike insurance. All you would require doing is, log on to the insurer’s website and fill the important details, including policy information, vehicle registration number, add-ons, if any, and make payment via net banking.

Remember, accidents happen unannounced.Therefore, the least you can do is, apply for a comprehensive bike insurance that takes care of the associated expenses and ensures your financial security.

Further, it is reassuring to know that buying bike insurance online doesn’t pose any serious safety threats as every step is taken by an insurer to keep your personal information confidential.

Government Employees Can Choose Their NPS Fund Managers

pension plansThe National Pension System (NPS) is a defined contribution retirement plan offered by the government. The plan is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

Subscribers must avail their Tier 1 NPS accounts with one of the PFRDA-appointed Point of Presence (POP). The contributions may be invested in 3 asset classes’ viz. equities, government securities, and corporate bonds. These funds are managed by professional fund managers designated by the regulator.

NPS is compulsory for government employees except the armed forces. The plan is optional for the private sector personnel. An increasing number of private sector employees are choosing NPS to take advantage of the various tax benefits available under the Income Tax (IT) Act.

Here is how government employees may choose fund managers

Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN)

Applicants are updated about their PRAN application status through an email or SMS. This number is unique for each subscriber, which makes the NPS account completely portable. The applicants may check the status with the POP or the regulator’s website in case the PRAN card is not received.

Choosing the fund manager

Government employees did not have the liberty of choosing their fund manager as available under the All Citizen Model. The state or the central government had the responsibility of choosing the fund managers. However, recently, PFRDA announced that public sector employees will now be at par and may choose their preferred fund manager to handletheir NPS contributions.

Being able to choose their preferred fund manager provides the subscribers an opportunity to assume higher risks and enjoy better NPS interest rate. The returns on NPS contributions depend on the percentage that is invested in the different asset classes. Therefore, by investing the maximum permissible amount (50% of the total annual contribution) in equities offers investors the chance to earn higher returns.

Changing the fund manager

The private sector personnel also have the option of changing the fund manager in case they are unsatisfied with the services. The proposed modification by the regulator also makes the option of changing the fund manager available for the government employees.

Opportunity to earn higher returns

The public sector employer matches the annual contribution made by the employees to the NPS. Having the option to choose their preferred fund manager allows the subscribers to take advantage of investing more in equities, which may potentially increase their returns.

The NPS corpus may be withdrawn on maturity. Investors may withdraw 60% of this amount as a lump sum. The balance must be compulsorily converted to an annuity plan. Subscribers may use a pension plan calculator to estimate the potential returns on their investments.

The revised norms for government subscribers make NPS beneficial for the investors. They may now choose the fund manager and the investment breakdown to maximize their returns.However, the existing system of the government choosing the fund manager will also continue for those subscribers who do not want to make their own choice.

Is It Important to Cover Your Car Against Theft?

coverage against car theftWhen you think about car insurance, it is always about accidents and getting yourself protected in the event of an accident. We believe that having a third party liability insurance policy is enough since it is mandatory by law to provide for damages done to third parties involved in a mishap. However, is it enough?

God, Forbid! What if you meet with an unfortunate scenario of your car getting broken into and stolen? Would you be covered for the loss?

Car theft is something that would not have crossed your mind. However, looking at the alarming statistics of theft in India, it is worthy to revisit your insurance plan and get yourself covered for theft.

Importance of Comprehensive Insurance Plan

Car insurance policies fall into two categories – third party liability and comprehensive plans. Third party liability covers for damages done to third party or property in an accident and is compulsory to own one as per the Indian law.

On the other hand, comprehensive car insurance plan comprises of third party liability coverage and also covers you for damages done to your car due to accidents, theft, and unforeseen mishaps.

A comprehensive insurance policy is the most sought by all since it gives the much-needed security against unforeseen damages and provides full-proof protection for your car. It is wise to opt for a comprehensive insurance plan to give you complete peace of mind.

The compulsory third party liability insurance policy is not going to help you in any way when you discover suddenly that your car is stolen. Whereas, when you own a comprehensive insurance policy, in the event of theft, the insurance company will come to your rescue and reimburse for your loss.

All you need to do is to lodge an FIR with the police and inform the insurance company of the same. You will be covered for the loss, and your money will be reinstated back to you as per the terms and conditions of the policy. Your car is the most prized asset and going an extra mile to protect it, using a comprehensive insurance policy is essential.

Why should you consider upgrading to a comprehensive cover?

You need coverage to protect you against damage to your car as opposed to the third party only If your car is stolen, you would have to pay up in full to purchase a brand new vehicle. Whereas with the comprehensive insurance plan, you are eligible to get back your hard-earned money, even if not in full.

Added level of protection that gives you more advantages

Don’t go for the lower level of cover just to save few bucks. You will save more in the long-run when you opt for comprehensive plans.

Stay safe against the crime of theft and other unforeseen damages that can happen to you anytime

Be secured on the road and also off the road. Don’t pay up for something for which you were not at fault

As seen above, the advantages of owning a comprehensive insurance policy are plenty. So make a wise choice and don’t regret later.