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Expat Investor : July August 2008
expatinvestor.com 4 EXPAT INVESTOR ? July/August 2008 STATISTICS AND ANALYSES Brits are a nation of worriers. Research from Abbey Insurance shows that half a million stressed out Brits spend over 25 hours a week worrying. Home and possessions top the worry chart with 67% stressing that their house and its contents are at risk, and nearly half of Brits (48% are worrying about their money situation. In line with the stereotype, those in London and the South East are the biggest worriers whilst Scots appear to be the most relaxed. Women seem to be taking the bigger burden and worry more than men about property, possessions and money matters – with 49% of women stressing about their finances compared to 47% of men. The credit crunch and talk of recession has intensified the worry. Abbey Insurance has seen an increase in people taking out its mortgage repayment plan to cover mortgage payments and some additional expenses for a year if they lose their regular income through no fault of their own. Lloyd Wilson, Head of Abbey Insurance, says, “The current climate has seen more people worry about the event of job loss. While you cannot predict the future, you can at least be prepared for it. While it is natural for people to worry a bit about their property and financial security, for the people who worry for more than 25 hours a week, it’s more than just a healthy concern. People need to find ways to put their mind at rest.” One in four British motorists (26%) admit they’ve lied on an insurance application – meaning their cover could be worthless – according to new research from insurance.co.uk. The research reveals a widespread habit amongst the nation at large for fabricating details in insurance applications in an effort to cut costs – with the catalogue of lies ranging from the seemingly innocent to the more severe. One in 10 pretend their vehicle is parked in a more secure area than it actually is, while one in 20 are less than truthful about the distances they drive, the value of their car and the reasons they use it. A small, but worrying, percentage (1%) are upfront about the fact they have lied about their address, penalty points, or other serious criminal convictions. The study provides an interesting A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. A quarter of motorists lie applying for insurance insight into the nation’s moral sensibilities. Despite the fact that so many admitted to lying, almost the entire nation (98%) said they believed themselves to be honest individuals. When asked to rank the severity of various offences, almost half (44%) put insurance fraud on a par with ‘pinching a chocolate bar’ and ‘travelling without a valid ticket’. Steve Grainger, Head of insurance.co.uk says, “Lying to an insurer is often considered to be a ‘victimless crime’, but this is far from the truth. “Many motorists would never dream of illegally driving without insurance, but they seem to be blissfully unaware that entering inaccurate information on a motor insurance application could make their policy worthless, leaving themselves and those around them at considerable risk.” Half a million spend over a day a week worrying Horoscope more important than credit rating A good credit rating should be the must-have accessory of 2008, but it seems Brits are relying on their horoscopes to get them through instead. New research from moneysupermarket.com shows nearly half of Brits have never checked their credit report, and only one in six will do so this year. Tim Moss, head of debt at price comparison site moneysupermarket.com, says, “Relying on Taurus to see what’s in store for your credit card, loan, mortgage or mobile phone application is a load of bull. “It isn’t just Geminis that will fall foul of card cloning, or Pisceans that will spot something fishy. You need to see what is on your credit report so any errors can be corrected and to see if someone else is perhaps trying to take your identity. “It will also highlight any tiny debts that might be there, but are having a huge impact on the success or failure of credit applications. An error on your report could typically lead to mortgages being rejected, or you being offered a product but at a much higher interest rate.” The weather in a foreign country tops the list of things Brits are likely to check most often, with horoscopes not far behind. The poll found people are just as likely to see if their name comes up on Google as they are to look at their credit rating. Of most concern is that 13% of Brits don’t know how to check their credit report. “These are the type of people who are most likely to fall victim to identity theft – and who should be making a beeline for annualcreditreport.co.uk, which is free and simple,” adds Mr Moss. “You might feel what you don’t know can’t hurt you, but a higher interest rate could cost you thousands, and ID fraud can take years to sort out. It’s far better to check your record than live in ignorant poverty. “Everyone in Britain should be looking at their credit report at least annually – particularly with so much data about us being lost by big Government departments and banks,” advises Mr Moss.
May June 2008