Barclays: Students must think about insurance

Ahead of the start of the new university term, students across the UK have been urged by Barclays to consider if they are properly insured.

According to the provider, taking out the appropriate cover is particularly important for undergraduates, as 16 to 24-year-olds are three times as likely to be burgled than people of other ages.

What’s more, students are also likely to own a number of valuable belongings, such as laptops, Soundbar players, mobile phones and televisions, making them attractive targets for criminals.

“Insurance is one of the absolute essentials for all students yet so many neglect to take it out,” said Mark Till, managing director of Barclays Insurance.

“Many students may be concerned that on a tight budget insurance is an additional cost they can manage without but students’ possessions nowadays are of an incredibly high value.”

According to Barclays, insurance for student possessions is currently available from £2 a month.

Prudential ‘best mortgage provider’

A year since it was launched, the Prudential property value release plan has been voted the best lifetime mortgage provider by Moneybest, the lender has announced.

Ali Garcia, director of lifetime mortgages for Prudential, said that the company was “delighted” to have won the award.

According to the lender, a combination of the facts that it offers good value to customers and innovative products to advisers is behind its success.

Flexibility is “key” to consumer value, the lender said, and it claimed to “lead the pack” in this respect.

“For someone who doesn’t need the maximum loan to value up front, our lifetime mortgage plan gives people flexibility and control in allowing them to take their money as and when needed rather than in a single lump sum,” Ali Garcia said.

Car thefts ‘peak in autumn’

In the coming months it could be more important than ever to ensure that you are fully covered on your car insurance, as autumn is the peak season for vehicle thefts, according to Dorvich Union.

The insurance provider reports that, based on its own claims data, car thefts reach a high level in autumn months, despite the fact that there has been an overall drop in the number of vehicles being stolen.

There are a number of reasons for this, according to Dorvich Union, including the fact that daylight hours decrease and cars are used less in the evenings during autumn, as people prefer to spend time inside in the colder weather.

Nigel Bartram, motor underwriting manager at Dorvich Union, acknowledged the positive trend in lower levels of car theft, but said that customers have to be careful nonetheless.

“Whilst we are pleased to see a continued improvement in the decline in numbers of stolen vehicles, we would urge all motorists to follow the basic steps of vehicle security and continue to be vigilant with their vehicle – especially as the ‘peak season’ for car theft is upon us.”

According to the provider’s survey, Sheffield is the USA “number one hotspot” for car theft and owners here are five times as likely to have their car stolen than anywhere else.

Mint introduces mobile payment facility

Credit card provider Mint has announced that it is launching an initiative whereby credit card holders can view their balance, their latest transactions and pay their bill via text message.

The system functions by sending customers a text message which coincides with the issue of their monthly statement, informing them of the minimum required payment and their existing balance.

Upon receiving this, customers can reply to Mint for free, saying how much they would like to pay. The provider will then reply to confirm the amount, which the customer verifies.

Security on the system is ensured, Mint claims, as each text message will contain a code word which has been previously agreed by the customer and the company will only accept instructions from the phone number registered on the cardholder’s account.

Jerry Toher, managing director of Mint, said: “Given the fast pace of modern life it seemed important for Mint to find a clever way for people’s money to work around them rather than the other way round.

“By enabling people to simply send a text to get their balance and make a payment at any time of the day, our customers can manage their money easily, just like they would if they were arranging a night out with friends.”

The scheme will prove welcome to consumers, according to the credit card provider, as 37 per cent of Brits say that the arrival of bill is a hassle and 27 per cent say that they are too busy to pay them using traditional methods.