Quentin Wilson releases industry first Car Warranty Video Guide

Quesntin Wilson - Warranty WiseTV motoring expert and former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson has taken a bold step to revolutionise the used car warranty market with his service and maintenance plan from Warrantywise. His campaign is kicked off by an informative and educational video release of ‘Quentin Willson’s Guide to Being Warrantywise’. In it, Quentin goes through the world of car warranty meticulously, outlining the dos and don’ts in his own unique and familiar style.

He says: “Too many warranty policies have furlongs of exclusion clauses, slippery wording and glacial customer service. They may look cheap, and that’s usually for a reason.

“A good used car warranty has clear definitions, no weasel words and a dedicated customer service team which gets back to you within a day or sooner. And that’s exactly what you get with Warrantywise. Clear definitions, fast service and no slippery words.”

Quentin says that, uniquely, Warrantywise publishes exactly how much is pays out to customers every week on its website. The company pays out in 80 per cent of cases and has a 92% customer satisfaction rating.

He goes on to say: “I am the person who has designed and written this warranty and I have painstakingly gone through it to make sure it is clear, transparent and easy to understand.”

And he promised: “If you’ve got a problem or an issue or if there’s something you don’t understand about your claim you can email me directly and I will personally get involved and sort things out.

“I am also the person who decides whether complicated, difficult or marginal claims get paid. The buck stops with me.”

The guide has been put together to give the customer an invaluable insight in to having a car warranty, whilst dispelling any doubts or uncertainties the customer may have in regard to achieving that all important peace of mind. Quentin Willson is incredibly passionate about customer satisfaction and finished with this important insight:

”When it comes to my car warranty I am usually asked the same questions. Is it any good? Does it pay out? Is it really me? I believe it is vital that we put these reservations to bed. Warrantywise is quite simply the best on the market and its scores of happy customers (www.warrantywise.co.uk/happy) are testament to its quality, transparency and above all, reliability. I wouldn’t put my name to something that didn’t deliver and that’s why the Warrantywise warranty has ‘The Quentin Willson Promise’, so you can rest assured that you will be covered when your car has a problem. This excellent video goes far and above in explaining used car warranties to our customer base, new and old, and I am incredibly proud of the outcome.”

The video guide can be found on the Warrantywise website (http://www.warrantywise.co.uk/choose-us/) and on the company’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tgUW9iGCdM&feature=youtu.be)

Take a look!

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Can Facebook Help Determine Your Credit Rating?

Some lenders are starting to use social networking behaviour to assess who deserves a loan.

Can your Facebook friends influence a lender’s decision to approve your loan application? A growing number of new financiers are already assessing an applicant’s social networking behaviour as part of their standard credit risk assessment process.

Startup financier Lenddo’s CEO and co-founder Jeff Stewart says an applicant’s Facebook friends are an indicator of possible future delinquency. Mr Stewart says his company takes particular note if an applicant’s friends are delinquent themselves – and the applicant interacts with them frequently.

Lenddo’s approach is a curious combination of computing power – data mining – and fundamental psychology: the fact that birds of a feather flock together. If you interact often enough with those with bad credit track record, the balance of probabilities tips towards the notion that you might have difficulty repaying a loan as well.

Lenddo has around 250,000 clients, and operates only in the Phillipines, Columbia and Mexico.

Another relatively new financier, Germany-based Kreditech, evaluates a potential client’s eBay and Amazon accounts in its credit assessment process. It also considers other seemingly irrelevant factors: writing in ALL CAPITALS hurts your credit worthiness, but good grammar might help.

Kreditech says it receives an average of 1000 loan applications daily.

This begs an interesting question: How wisely do you choose your Facebook friends? In the future – the very near future – they could hurt your consumer credit rating. Is it even fair to be penalized for having the wrong ‘friends’? Is this nothing more than guilt by association, or do the data miners have a point?

On the flipside of this equation: Google tracks you to see what you want to find, iTunes tracks your behaviour to predict what you want to see and hear next – isn’t this just a logical extension of that tracking system?

In your parent’s day, a loan application might have comprised a form of a few pages plus supporting documentation: payslips, bank statements and identity documents. Today, companies like Kreditech will amass as many as 8000 different data points when assessing a loan application. Each one can be used to upgrade, downgrade or authenticate your credit worthiness. (Kreditech also evaluates the amount of time you’ve spent reading about the loan on the Kreditech website as part of its evaluation of your application.)

Shaun McGowan from Australia-based carloans.com.au says more data is not necessarily better, from the point of view of credit risk assessment. “We use a traditional credit application assessment approach. It’s straightforward, streamlined and simple – both for us and for our loan applicants. It’s also very effective – our track record with good credit demonstrates that you simply don’t need 8000 (or whatever) data points on potential customers to determine an accurate credit risk profile. As attractive as data mining sounds, from a technical perspective, it’s our experience that fundamentals like credit history, employment history, net asset backing and loan to income ratio are significantly more valuable in assessing potential clients than assessing the relative merits of their Facebook friends.”

Mr McGowan also cautions against the use of social media as a credit application tool. “Unlike other factors that make up a conventional credit score – such as employment and loan repayment history – the applicant can control their Facebook friends and the tweets they post. This means the applicants themselves can potentially manipulate the data.”

But another lender, Kabbage, gets small business clients to grant Kabbage access not just to the business’s Twitter and Facebook, but also its PayPal, eBay and other commercial online accounts. In this way, the borrower’s cash flows and transactions are disclosed to Kabbage in real time. Privacy questions aside, Kabbage says it can thus determine a business’s credit-worthiness and deposit funds into the business’s account in just seven minutes.

Kabbage – a specialist lender to small businesses selling online products, which expects to deliver 75,000 cash advances this year, ranging from $500 to $50,000 – claims that clients which open up their Facebook and Twitter to Kabbage are 20 per cent less likely to become delinquent in their loans. The theory behind this is that companies on top of Facebook and Twitter are also likely to be up-to-date with more conventional aspects of their businesses, too – like stock control and shipping.

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Five Ways to Protect Your Home Business

In the digital age, almost anyone has the ability to set up their own business. Admittedly, the entrepreneurs with their heads screwed on are far more likely to make a success of it, but it opens up the opportunity to others who may have previously been financially unable.

To run a home business you may need as little as a computer. Depending on the type of company you run, you could be set up within days. However, it is advisable to ensure there are things in place first. Here are some tips to help your business succeed when it is up and running.

Get insurance

Remember that your home insurance might not adequately protect you when running a home business. For example, while home cover might protect your structure from flood damage, it may not cover your business losses when your place of work is suddenly out of order.

So, getting business insurance is the first essential step to protect you in your new home business venture. Depending on what you opt for, you should protect all equipment used as part of your business stock and also cover for loss of income. It is not worth running the risk where your livelihood is concerned, after all.

Set up a website

A great way to get your business trading from the offset, is to build an online presence, which starts with a website. If your business is based at your home, you will automatically lose the advantages a shop may give you, such as a sign and any shop-front advertising. So you must make up for this with a good website, advertised well online and ready to go as soon as you launch your business.

Use online accounting software

With running a business comes the responsibility of organising your accounts, invoices and payroll. This is no different than if you were set up in an office or a shop. HMRC will want to see a tax return and your staff – if you have any – will want to be paid.

There is online software available to help you deal with your accounting needs. This includes keeping receipts, setting up invoices and setting up pay. A quick search online will bring up a software package suited to your needs.

Use networking where possible

When you are based at home, it is easy to lose touch with the business world. It requires an extra effort to stay in touch and this will be vital to the successful running of your business. Having a presence online by using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will only go so far; it is well worth considering going to networking events, where you can meet like-minded business people and try to secure new customers.

Keep home life separate

Being at home naturally puts people into relaxation mode. However, this is bad news if you are trying to run a business. Either set yourself strict working hours and stick to them, or run your company from a different room or section of your home. This way you will know when you should be in business mode and will be away from family distractions.


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National Rail: Nearly One Third of UK Trains Behind Schedule

august-30-02Almost a third of UK trains run behind schedule, according to new punctuality data from Network Rail. On certain routes, over half of all trains run behind schedule for the majority of their operation.

The figures, which cover the last twelve months of activity on several UK networks, indicate that the country’s rail system is far less punctual and efficient than many of us believe.

47.7 percent of Virgin Trains on the West Coast stuck to their schedule over the past twelve months – one of the nation’s worst offenders. Only 67 percent of all trains in the UK arrived early or at the right time, according to the new ‘right-time’ statistics.

‘Right-time’ statistics require a train to arrive either ahead of schedule or within 59 seconds of its scheduled arrival time in order to quality as ‘on time.’ The somewhat tight margin of error is to encourage prompt and timely rail network performance.

As well as the stricter right-time statistics, Network Rail also measures rail network performance under the older Public Performance Measures standard. This metric is more liberal, giving short-distance trains a five-minute margin on lateness and long-distance rail services a ten-minute arrival window.

While the right-time statistics measure just 67 percent of trains as ‘on-schedule,’ the older method puts 90.8 percent of UK trains in the ‘on time’ category. Certain routes are more likely than others to have late or severely delayed service.

For example, while over 68 percent of trains in London and the Southeast were on time, just 53.2 percent of long-distance services managed to arrive at their terminal destination within one minute of their predetermined schedule.

Over 60 percent of rail delays were caused by Network Rail, the statistics claim, and the process for determining whether a train was on time is, according to the group, not 100 percent reliable.

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PPI Claims Compensation Exceeds £18 Billion

august-02-03Lloyds has reported that it may need to spend hundreds of millions of pounds over its £7.3 billion budget in order to settle PPI claims. The government-backed lender has compensated customers for PPI programs that were misleading sold through a customer mailing programme.

The bank has budgeted over £7.3 billion to manage the claims, but is concerned that an increase in the average claim value could require additional capital. The lender, which is partially owned by taxpayers, claims that adding £100 to the average claim size would cost the bank upwards of £70 million in total customer compensation.

Other issues for the bank include the possibility of more claims being filed. Lloyds has estimated that an additional 100,000 complaints made using its programme is likely to cost the bank upwards of £170 million. The bank is currently paying out an average of £1,700 per customer that makes a PPI claim using its programme.

Despite this, Lloyds has forecasted that the average future payout is likely to be just £1,440 as fewer high-value claims are made. It has noted that every additional £100 would increase its total costs by £70 million. The response rate to its mailing efforts is currently 27 percent, although this could increase in the future.

Other banks have also paid out large amounts in PPI claims to customers that were mislead into purchasing PPI policies. Barclays has set aside approximately £4 billion to compensate customers that purchased PPI policies through the bank, alongside a wide range of other British lenders that have spent a total of £18 billion.

The total compensation is almost double the amount of money spend on the London Olympics, making it one of the most expensive banking scandals in recent history for the UK. The scandal has not only cost banks financially – many banks have been hit with a serious reputation downgrade amongst retail investors and families.

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Car Insurance Claims Crackdown Lowers Prices

july-27-01Motorists around the UK are enjoying lower car insurance rates than ever before in recent history as anti-fraud investigations lower the number of claims. Compared to prices recorded in April 2013, the cost of comprehensive auto insurance has fallen three percent. Third-party insurance has dropped 2.2 percent in the same period.

The reduction in car insurance pricing is consistent across all age groups, with the demographics previously thought of as highest-risk – drivers aged 23 to 29 – hit by some of the largest discounts. The average annual cost of car insurance for drivers between 23 and 29 is now just £738.93 – a drop of 12.8 percent from last year.

The data comes from the AA insurance index, which has tracked the price of car insurance since 1994. The decline in auto insurance pricing has been consistent across all age groups, with every demographic except drivers aged over 70 now paying at least 5.4 percent less for their annual car insurance coverage.

Young drivers aged 17 to 22 still pay the most for insurance, with an average annual cost of £1,210.54 for a comprehensive policy. Drivers aged 60 to 69 pay the least for car insurance, with an average policy priced at under £350. The decline in pricing is largely due to a crackdown on fraudulent claims and shady personal injury claims.

Premiums rose steadily over the past four years due to a surge in claims for damage and personal injuries such as whiplash. The injury claims grew so great that Britain acquired a reputation as Europe’s ‘whiplash capital.’ Insurance companies are now armed with tighter rules and restrictions regarding injury claims from accidents.

The end result of these restrictions is lower car insurance for all drivers – a change that, given the rising fuel prices many drivers are forced to deal with – most agree is a very good development indeed.

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Consumer Group: Insurers ‘Weasel Out’ of Auto and Home Claims

july-15-02New research from Which? indicates that over ten percent of home insurance claims are rejected. The survey, which sources data from over 4,800 people, found that one in ten home insurance claims and one in twenty car insurance claims were rejected, either fully or partially, by insurance companies.

While the vast majority of insurance customers reported being happy with the way that their claims were handled, a minority reported being rejected for reasons that they thought were ways for their insurers to ‘weasel out’ of compensating them for legitimate claims.

One of the members surveyed for the report claimed that they had been refused an insurance claim after they failed to re-grout their bathroom tiles each year. Others have claimed that home insurance claims for damage cause by storms were turned down after insurers calculated that the wind speeds simply weren’t high enough.

Others often related to proof of ownership, particularly in claims that involved the theft of an item. Homeowners were often disappointed to learn that items such as jewellery bought decades in advance and quite understandably lacking a receipt, was turned down after insurers claimed its ownership couldn’t be verified.

Consumer groups advise insurance owners to be vigilant in keeping records of the products that they own. Home insurance claims are reportedly given a far greater amount of attention when they’re accompanied by video evidence of ownership, as well as reports to local police forces after an accidental loss.

Other common issues include car insurance claims, in which cars were frequently undervalued by insurers in order to reduce accident payments. A large number of people that responded to the survey reported being disappointed after their auto insurance company listed a low value for their vehicle following a major crash.

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Consumer watchdog, Which? is in the news once again as they are now condemning outrageous fees being charged by insurance companies for renewals minor changes in policies. Amongst the charges they are naming as exorbitant would fees for small amendments which would include updating personal information, change of address and the transfer of different vehicles. In many cases these fees are as high as £30. Renewing or cancelling policies can also carry a service charge which the group finds deplorable.

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PetGuard suddenly cancels policies leaving pet owners without cover

Prominent pet insurance company PetGuard has recently canceled hundreds of policies, leaving many pet owners without cover even though they paid a hefty premium to secure a “lifetime” policy. The company recently changed its underwriter, and after doing so gave hundreds of customers a three weeks’ notice that their policies would not be renewed.

Perhaps most appalling to PetGuard policyholders is the fact that they have paid higher premiums for an extended period of time specifically to ensure that they would have continual assistance in the event their pet is diagnosed with a chronic condition (i.e. – arthritis or diabetes).

Unfortunately, any customers that have a pet who has already been diagnosed with a pre-existing injury or illness will not be covered under a replacement policy if they decide to renew coverage with PetGaurd. A spokesperson for PetGaurd defended the company’s position stating that pet insurance contracts are only valid for 12-month periods, and that lifetime cover is still based on yearly renewals.

While it is technically true that the company has not revoked a service that was already paid for, they have charged their customers a premium to ensure “lifetime” cover, despite the fact that they really had no protection from having their policy canceled at any time.

There are no shortage of pet insurers in the UK, with more than 85 providers currently offering hundreds of policy options for pet owners. Nonetheless, many disgruntled customers are not leaving without a fight, and complaints have already been brought before the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The complaints mainly state that the definitions and policy terms were not clearly explained at the time of purchasing the policy, and/or that PetGaurd unjustly terminated coverage without giving customers the opportunity to retain the “lifetime” cover that they had been paying a premium for.

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First Time Drivers Pay a High Price to Get on the Road

Based on statistics released from Co-op research group, young first time drivers pay a high cost just to take the road. According to their figures, first-time young drivers pay approximately £4,459 to get on the road in the beginning.

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