Storm Brendan: will your home insurance cover the damage?

Storm Brendan: will your home insurance cover the damage?

Storm Brendan has devastated parts of the UK with heavy wind and rainfall but will home insurance protect your home against damage?

Brean Horne
Wed, 01/15/2020 – 12:13

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Storm Brendan hit the UK with heavy rain and severe gales overnight causing widespread disruption and property damage. 

More than 1,000 properties in Wales were left without power and uprooted trees, causing travel disruption.

While in the South-East, high winds ripped a 25 metre section of roof from a housing block in Slough.

If Storm Brendan has caused damage to your property, your home insurance policy may offer cover. 

Does home insurance cover storm damage?

Most home buildings insurance policies will cover damage caused by extreme weather conditions such as storms. 

There are some cases where an insurer may rejected a storm related claim, if they find that your home wasn’t maintained to a sufficient standard. 

For instance, if your roof suffered damage due to heavy winds, your insurer may refuse your claim if they have reason to believe your roof was poorly maintained or already damaged.. 

Ensuring that your home is well-maintained is important, especially if you live in an area that is prone to adverse weather or extreme conditions. 

What should you do if your home is damaged by a storm?

If your home is affected by storm damage, try to report it to your insurer as soon as possible.

Make sure that you have your insurance documents and policy number to hand as you will be asked for those details during the call. 

How to protect your home from storm damage

It’s important to keep your home well-maintained throughout the year to reduce the risk of damage from storms and extreme weather. 

Regularly inspecting your roof can help you identify things such as loose tiles and get them repaired. 

Keeping your guttering and drain pipes clear will help avoid blockages and lower your risk of flooding. 

Trimming back bushes or small trees can also help prevent damage from high winds. 

Before the storm or adverse whether arrives, try to secure loose items such as garden furniture, tools and toys to prevent them from being blown away or causing more damage. 

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Are there drawbacks to switching banks?

Are there drawbacks to switching banks?

I have recently switched my current account to Lloyds Bank. Does switching your current account affect your credit rating? Are there any negatives to switching?

Andrew Hagger
Wed, 01/15/2020 – 11:18

From
KR/London

As part of the switching process, your new bank will carry out a search on your credit record. Although this search will show up on your credit record, it should not have any major impact on your credit rating.

If there are several searches carried out within a short timescale, that is when you may see a dip in your credit score. Frequent searches could be viewed as a sign you have financial issues and are constantly looking for more credit.

Switching should not cause you any problems, except perhaps a little inconvenience  – new bank details to give to your employer, new cards, PINs and online banking to get used to – but nothing to worry about, especially if it means you get a bank account that is more suitable for your needs.

Andrew Haggar is the founder of personal finance website Moneycomms.co.uk

Best current accounts

Best account for…

Account

Benefit

Notes

Switching perks

HSBC Advance

Get £175 if you switch and open a linked 2.75% regular savings account

You must pay in £1,750 a month

Interest

Nationwide FlexDirect

5% interest on up to £2,500 for the first 12 months

Must pay in £1,000 a month

Overdraft

First Direct

Interest-free £250 overdraft

 

Cashback

NatWest Reward

2% cashback on bills and £150 switching reward

£2 monthly fees and must pay in £1,500 a month

 

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Barclays introduces new 35% overdraft fee

Barclays introduces new 35% overdraft fee

Barclays to shake up overdrafts from March 2020.

Brean Horne
Mon, 01/13/2020 – 16:12

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Barclays will introduce a new single interest rate of 35% EAR for overdrafts from 22 March 2020.

Currently, customers with an arranged overdraft receive a £15 fee-free buffer followed by a daily charge of 75p on overdrafts up to £,1000.

Overdrafts between £1,000 and £2,000 have a £1.50 daily charge while overdrafts over £2,000 are charged at £3 a day. 

From 22 March, Barclays premier and packaged account holders will lose their fee-free overdrafts – which currently range from £200 – £1,000.

Barclays will still retain its £15 fee-free buffer and £3,000 fee-free buffer for student accounts when the new single interest rate kicks in.

The bank estimates most customers (94%) will either see no change in how much they are charged for using an overdraft or will see a reduction in the charges from March.

Barclays does not offer unarranged overdrafts on its accounts. 

A spokes person from Barclays says: “We want to help our customers manage their money with transparency and ease.”

“This is another step towards offering our customers greater control over their finances, alongside our existing alerts and the huge range of tools within our app.”

Why is Barclays increasing its overdraft fee?

Lenders make over £2.4 billion from overdrafts each year, with around 30% coming from unarranged overdrafts, according to financial regulator the FCA. The financial watchdog has unveiled new plans to overhaul the industry.

From 6 April 2020, banks and building societies will no longer be able to charge higher interest rates on unarranged overdrafts than they do on arranged overdrafts.

They will also be banned from charging additional fixed fees.

Instead, lenders will have to use a simple interest rate to make overdrafts “simpler, fairer and easier to manage.”

Compare banks new overdraft rates

Barclays’ new 35% overdraft fee is noticeably cheaper than the other big banks, such as Nationwide, that charge almost 40%.

Starling Bank currently offers the cheapest overdraft interest rate.

Customers hoping to use an overdraft will be charged a flat fee of either 15%, 25% or 35% depending on their credit score.

The table below shows how Barclays’ fees for a £100 overdraft compares to other lenders.

Bank New overdraft fee Charge over 7 days Charge over 30 days
Nationwide 39.90% 65p £2.79
       
HSBC 39.90% 65p £2.79
       
first direct 39.90% 65p £2.79
       
M&S Bank 39.90% 65p £2.79
       
NatWest 39.48% 64p £2.77
RBS 39.48% 64p £2.77
Barclays 35% 57p £2.49
Monzo 19%/29%/39% 33p/49p/63p £1.44/£2.11/£2.74
Starling Bank 15%/25%/35% 27p/43p/59p £1.16/£1.86/£2.52
       

How to cut the cost of your overdraft

Overdrafts can be handy for short-term borrowing.

To make sure you get the best rate on your overdraft, it’s important to shop around.

While banks are starting to introduce single flat interest rates, there is some competition in the market.

Starling Bank and Monzo, for example, offer the cheapest interest rates for eligible customers at 15% and 17% respectively.

Barclays will also keep it’s £15 interest-free buffer which could help cut the cost of going into an overdraft too.

If you have a bigger overdraft a specialist money transfer credit card could help reduce your overdraft repayments.

A money transfer card allows you to move money from your credit card to your bank account.

These cards often come with an initial transfer fee and a fixed 0% interest period too.

Tesco Bank currently offers the longest 0% interest period of 28 months.  

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