More than one in ten (12%) Britons have had to cancel a credit or debit card in the past year due to online fraud, according to new research by comparethemarket.com. The latest statistics show a worsening state of affairs when it comes to cybercrime, with the number of people cancelling cards rising from 4.5 million to 5.5 million since the research was last conducted in September 2016. These findings further add to concerns that consumers’ money isnt safe in the bank.

Out of the people who had money stolen because of a hack, the average amount taken rose from £475 to £600 compared to the last survey. Issues of hacking present a real problem for bankscustomer retention, as almost one in four customers who had money stolen changed, or are in the process of changing, bank or credit card provider. However, despite the lack of trust that stems from being hacked, customers are broadly happy with how cyber-attacks are dealt with. 91% of customers who were the victim of a hack being satisfied with the way in which the company handled the issue.

The largest cause of hacking was online payments, which accounted for 46% of those surveyed. Almost one in ten of those who were the victim of a hack had their card duplicated at an ATM, while identity theft accounted for 11% of hacks. 

However, many customers also admitted that they are not doing enough to ensure that their accounts are safe. Almost one in five respondents said that they have the same PIN for all of their cards, while one in ten had the same online password for all of their accounts. When customers are the victim of a hack, attitudes tend to change. 93% of people changed the way in which they managed their money, with 50% looking at their bank accounts more frequently and 28% creating different PINs and passwords for cards and accounts.

The extras sold at car hire rental desks can often double the price of the original quote, but new research has found that it is possible for the car to end up seven times more expensive than the original quote.

Hiring a compact car with Budget in Faro this May Half Term (27 May to 3 June), costs a very reasonable £79 for the week’s hire, however once extra items at the rental desk are added the price can increase to £588.

These ‘extras’ include £57 for an extra driver, £108 for sat nav hire, £68 for a child’s car seat, £285 for a combined excess / waiver policy – all adding up to £518 and leaving the driver with a final bill of £597, seven times the original quote.

iCarhireinsurance.com looked at the costs to hire a compact car in five European destinations, Tenerife, Nice, Faro, Larnaca and Barcelona, with six hire car companies, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Enterprise (see table below).  The study found that:

  • The average car rental price across Europe for a week’s hire is £151, but the location with the highest average price is Nice at £250.
  • ‘Extras’ at the rental desk cost on average £333, this includes £91 for super damage waiver, £34 for super theft waiver, tyre and windscreen excess for £38, £47 for an extra driver, £71 for a sat nav and £53 for a child’s car seat. However the location with the highest average cost of extras is Faro at £509.

Car hire excess (waiver) policies protect drivers from the excess cost, which can be as much as £2,000, if a hire car is stolen or damaged even if it isn’t the hirer’s fault.  Rental companies often sell three excess policies:  Super Damage Waiver, Super Theft Waiver, Tyre and Windscreen Excess, or if available a combination of these.

  • The most expensive average excess insurance is in Faro where the average cost for a combined super waiver policy is £232 this half term.
  • Individual excess policies in Faro cost on average £106 for super damage waiver, £113 for super theft waiver and £42 for tyre and windscreen excess.

A policy from a specialist insurance provider, like iCarhireinsurance.com, covers damage, theft and tyre and windscreen cover, and starts from £2.99 a day for a European policy or £37.99 for an annual policy, meaning that drivers in Faro could save themselves over £200 if they shop around for excess insurance this half term.

The traditional summer-time image of stressed out Brits fleeing their screens for a weekend of muddy festival hedonism could be a thing of the past. New research by price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com reveals that the smartphone is very much a festival essential with 35% of revellers hooked on social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while they’re away – despite 25% admitting their phone has suffered a misfortune at a festival.

When it comes to mobile mishaps, millennials (18-34 year olds) are the clumsiest festival-goers, as 14% have dropped their phone and nearly one in 10 (9%) have cracked their phone screens at a festival. Worse still, nearly 400,000 18-34 year olds have dropped their phone down a portaloo or in a portakabin.

Despite this, less than one in 10 Brits (8%) would take a cheaper mobile instead and over half (58%) of festival-goers would still take their regular phone to a festival even if it was not insured.

Recording videos and taking pics (52%) rank amongst the most popular use of mobiles at festivals, which rises to 62% amongst 18-34 year olds. This is on par with using handsets to call/text people not at festivals (52%)[. Festival-goers love to share the moment, as although Facebook is the app of choice (26%), over one in 10 festival-goers use Instagram (11%) and Snapchat (8%).

Revellers also aren’t prepared to leave love to chance at festivals, as nearly one in five (17%) 18-34 year olds have met someone on a dating app at a festival.

Despite the potential risks, festival-goers continue to be obsessed with their phones – 1.5 million Brits would choose charging their phone over buying food, an alcoholic drink, taking a hot shower or buying toilet paper at a festival.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “Festivals are one of the Great British traditions. From Glastonbury to Green Man, there’s a fun-soaked field of fans to suit any music lovers’ needs.

 

“For those that don’t fancy being faced with a “fish out or flush situation”, it’s worth considering a dedicated festival phone. The newly revived Nokia 3310 is ideal for those happy to sacrifice social media posting in favour of a longer battery life and peace of mind that their main handset is safe at home.

“But if you can’t do without the functionality of your smartphone this festival season, remember to keep it safe – add a lock code or pattern to the home screen. It’s also worth Installing a phone locator like ‘Find My iPhone’ (or Google’s ‘Find My Device’ for Android phone owners) and a sturdy case cover and portable charger are must-haves, if you don’t have them already.”

Nearly one in three households want  verbal support, through face-to-face or phone advice, on how to switch energy suppliers as price rises on gas and electricity bills of up to 18% come into effect, new research from leading independent energy comparison website www.moneyexpert.com shows.

 

Its nationwide study found 29% of households – the equivalent of 7.9 million customers – would welcome phone or face-to-face support to find the most competitive gas and electricity prices with around two million preferring face-to-face support. That rises to 33% among over-55s with 10% of older households welcoming face-to-face advice.

 

Nearly half (46%) of those who have never switched, or not moved for five years, admit they do not understand how their energy bill is worked out. By contrast two-thirds (66%) of those who have moved say they understand how their bill is calculated.

 

Regulator OFGEM  estimates1 the average household can save around £232 a year by switching ahead of a range of price announcements from the Big Six suppliers which range  from price freezes at British Gas and electricity price increases of 18.1% at EDF.

 

The research from MoneyExpert.com, which has helped 500,000 customers switch in five years, shows one in five households – around 5.4 million – have never moved supplier while another 18% have not moved for more than five years. Around 58% say they are happy with their current deal but nearly a third (31%) admit they do not understand how to switch.

 

Despite repeated education campaigns, people aren’t reducing their electricity consumption to save the planet or reduce their bills, 13% of households do not try to keep their bills down by switching off lights and choosing energy saving appliances.

 

Mike Rowe from MoneyExpert.com said: “Every gas and electricity customer should shop around as price rises are being pushed through by almost all major suppliers but the issue is that millions are not confident about moving.

 

New research from Retirement Advantage, the retirement specialist, suggests the UK’s property market may receive a welcome boost from retirees moving house in a bid to bolster their income in retirement.

 

The firm’s survey of over 50s reveals that a quarter (26%) plan to move house when they retire. Of these, almost two thirds (62%) plan to downsize, while four in ten (38%) will move to a different area. The majority (63%) of those looking to move to a smaller property are doing so to generate cash for living expenses in retirement, while one in ten (10%) want to help children with house deposits.

 

Given over 50s hold more than two thirds of the UK’s overall property wealth, worth around £2,291 billion, their plans will have a significant impact on the housing market. Plans to move are highest in London (32%), followed by Yorkshire (30%) and East Midlands, South West and South East (all 29%).

 

Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at Retirement Advantage, said: ‘With the UK housing market showing signs of slowing, questions have been raised over how we can find supply to match demand. This research shows retirees may hold the answer.

 

‘Those approaching retirement are thinking holistically about their finances, and considering property as part of their asset mix. Many will choose to move house so they can use the capital generated to fund the initial stages of retirement, rather than immediately relying on pensions and other savings. It can also make financial sense for retirees given recent regulatory and tax changes around property and pensions.

 

‘However, moving house is an expensive business and people are often shocked by how little money is left once they’ve paid for their new house as well as the fees and taxes associated with moving. It’s important over 50s understand there are other ways to use their property to fund retirement. Equity release, for example, allows people to access some of the cash stored up in their home, without needing to move. It is vital people get professional financial advice so they are fully aware of all their options and can get the best outcome in retirement.’

New research on behalf of Compare Cover, the life insurance comparison website, has revealed that almost a quarter of UK adults would be more likely to buy life insurance if it was called ‘Family Protection Insurance’ instead.

 

It seems family really does come first for many Brits after 24 percent of those questioned said they’d be more likely to take out cover if it was retitled accordingly. Seven percent said they would be more inclined to buy if it was called ‘Dependant Cover’, while another seven percent said they would be more likely to buy life insurance if it was packaged more simply as ‘Mortgage Insurance’.

 

Only five percent would be willing to take the direct approach and take out a policy entitled ‘Death Insurance’, while a fifth (20 percent) said they would not consider buying life insurance. Less than half (44 percent) said the alternatives offered would not make any difference to their buying habits.

 

Spokesman, Mike Preston, said: “What is perhaps most interesting to note about these results is the level of emotional attachment UK consumers have with regards to all aspects of their domestic set up, even down to the provision of life insurance policies.

 

“For some, life policies are possibly regarded as a necessity, but a significant proportion appear to find the process of taking out life insurance an emotionally compelling one, reflecting a need for providers within the industry to potentially consider a more family friendly approach.”

Parents are keen to keep control over how any money they leave after they die is spent by their children, new research from Prudential shows.

 

Rising property prices and pension wealth mean that many of the baby boomer generation plan to pass on significant assets to their heirs – and three-quarters (77 per cent) of over-55s have indicated that they want to have some control of how their legacy is spent.

 

One in four parents (26 per cent) are concerned that part of an inheritance could end up being given to spouses of their children in the event of a divorce. About a third (30 per cent) say they don’t want their wealth to be squandered by their children, and the same number want to ensure that grandchildren benefit from an inheritance.

 

One in eight parents (12 per cent) want to specify what their legacy is used for and a similar number (13 per cent) have already sought, or intend to seek, financial and legal advice to help ensure that their legacy is used wisely. One in 10 want to stipulate that their children must receive professional financial advice on receiving their inheritance.

 

Estates liable for inheritance tax (IHT) in the UK face an average bill of nearly £175,000 each, but more than two-thirds of over-55s (67 per cent) are unaware of what the national average inheritance tax bill is. Just one in 25 UK adults (four per cent) correctly guessed that the average bill was within the range of £100,000 and £200,000.

 

Despite more than a third of over-55s (35 per cent) being concerned about having to pay inheritance tax on their estate, less than a fifth (19 per cent) have actually taken action to reduce their potential tax bill. Fewer than one in 10 (nine per cent) are seeking financial advice, making gifts to family members (six per cent) and/or setting up trusts (four per cent).

 

Les Cameron, tax expert at Prudential, said: “Record house prices are one reason why inheritance tax receipts are rising fast. In 2012/13 fewer than 18,000 estates had an IHT bill but the Government says that there will be 41,000 taxpaying estates in 2015/16 and that IHT receipts will hit £6.2bn by 2021/22.

 

“Reducing inheritance tax bills is relatively straightforward. People need to strike the right balance between giving their wealth away during their lifetime to reduce the size of their estate, and maintaining some form of control after their death over who can access it and when.

 

“With two in five marriages ending in divorce, it is easy to understand why the problem of  keeping wealth within their family is a growing concern for the bank of mum and dad when they’re planning to leave money to children and grandchildren.

 

“To help ensure efficient inheritance tax planning, obtaining financial and legal advice should be money well spent.”

The number of adults aged 25-34 living with their parents could be set to grow, as property prices continue to rise, according to a new study from Aviva insurance.
Analysis carried out by the insurer shows that the number of adults in this age group, living with parents, has risen by 37% over a 10 year period, increasing from 903,000 to 1.23 million – an additional 331,000 people. If this growth pattern continues at the same rate over the next decade, the UK could see a further 452,000 people aged 25-34 living with parents in 10 years’ time.

The number of UK ‘children’ aged 21-34 living with parents has also grown considerably during this period, from 2.2 to 2.9 million, an increase of 29%.

This growing trend of multi-generational living corresponds with a 45% increase in house prices for first-time buyer homes. ONS figures show the cost of the average first UK home has risen from £146,000 to £211,000 over the same period(3).

The findings are supported by a separate study carried out by Aviva, examining the attitudes of 500 UK ‘children’ aged 16-34 who live with their parents.

This study found that respondents expected to be 28 years of age on average before they moved out – although one in 12 (8%) said they didn’t ever expect to leave their current residence. The proportion of respondents who expected never to move out of the parental home rose to 13% amongst those aged 25-29 and 18% amongst people aged 30-34.

Home-buying is apparently an even bigger challenge. A third of people aged 16-34 said they didn’t expect to ever own a home, and a fifth (21%) predicted they’d only own a home if and when they inherited one. Of those who felt they would own a property one day, 31 was the average age at which they expected to get on the housing ladder.

Happy at home?

When asked how they felt about their current living situation, the majority of adults (47%) living with parents said they were ‘very happy’, while just 16% said they were unhappy with their circumstances. However the number of discontented dwellers increases with age. For adults aged 30-34 still living with parents, the number of ‘very happy’ people falls to 31%, while ‘unhappy’ inhabitants rises to 28%.
There is also an expectation – and a seeming acceptance – of the situation, as 59% of adults living with parents say they expected their domestic arrangements. That said, the proportion of people who are surprised to be living with parents grows with age: 35% of people aged 30-34 aged they did not expect their living circumstances.

Money is key – but one in four ‘children’ like being looked after

When it comes to reasons for living with parents, financial reasons are way ahead of any other considerations. Nearly two thirds (62%) of adult children living with parents say that they can’t afford to move out, while 48% say they live with family to save money.

 

With reports suggesting that almost 500 high street banks are set to close in 2017, research by Saga has revealed that 5.5 million (25%) over 50s will be forced to switch their account if their local branch disappears.

In the survey of almost 10,000 over 50s, half (50%) said that banks should not be allowed to close local branches and more than a third (37%) said that without access to a high street bank they would be prevented from carrying out many financial transactions.

A further one in five (21%) said they rely on access to a local bank because they don’t bank online and almost a third (31%) said that their next closest branch would be too far to travel.

People in their 80s felt that a local branch closure would have the most impact on them with more than a third (36%) prepared to switch banks and almost half (48%) saying that most financial transactions would become impossible for them.

Lisa Harris, head of communications for Saga said:

“It is clear that access to a local high street bank is important for the over 50s, particularly for the older generations who are less likely to bank online and more likely to find it difficult to travel further afield.

“Many over 50s will have held an account with the same bank for a number of years and will find the switching process stressful. More needs to be done by the banks to ensure they maintain a high street presence, particularly for their loyal customers.”

More than half of pet owners believe not having insurance is too risky given the potential costs for treatment they could face, new research from insurance market experts Consumer Intelligence shows.

Its nationwide study found 53% say not insuring their pet is too big a worry despite concerns about the different policies available and the terms and conditions. Around two out of five (41%) of pet insurance customers find policies confusing.

Owners who do not buy cover blame the cost with 50% saying polices are too expensive while 28% believe insurance is not worth it. Dog owners are most likely to insure their pets, the research found, with around 64% paying for cover while 44% have insurance for cats.

It has proved worthwhile for owners with insurance – around one in five (18%) have claimed in the past five years while another 11% have made claims more than five years ago. Those who have claimed are happy – 74% of customers say the claim was resolved quickly and 92% said the quality of care was good or very good.

Consumer Intelligence’s pricing data2 shows that there are affordable cover options out there dog owners can insure from as little as £66 a year for accident only cover to as much as £363 a year for the most comprehensive lifetime cover. Cat owners would pay between £47 and £171 for the same type of policies.

John Blevins, Consumer Intelligence pricing expert, said: “Owning a pet is expensive and many owners take the view that buying insurance just adds to the bills.

“Pet insurance is a very complex purchase given the varying cover levels and product options to choose from including a wide range of vet fee options. This can make it difficult for customers to choose.

“Vet fee bandings can range from £500 to as much as £12,000 and with the majority of customers shopping around through price comparison websites it can be difficult to understand what they are buying

“More than half of customers are not shopping around but three-quarters of those who do switch are able to cut their annual premium highlighting the benefits of researching the market.”

Accident only cover for dogs has increased from around £64.78 in September to around £66.13 while for time limited cover it has risen from £190.90 to £193.76 and for lifetime cover it has grown from £346 to £363.51. For maximum benefit cover it has dropped from £314.94 to £309.47.

For cats accident only cover has increased from £46.78 to £47.49 while lifetime cover has grown from £162.79 to £171.03. Maximum benefit is virtually unchanged at £145.81 in March compared with £146.17 while time limited has slipped from £101.24 to £100.22.

Consumer Intelligence’s study found 32% of insurance customers say they have had to fund treatment themselves with 17% paying because their excess was too high while 15% found they were not covered.