Alex was fit and Healthy

ALEX’S STORY

Alex always considered himself a fit and healthy person who led an active and busy life, working 60 hours a week as a self- employed field agent. He was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in June 2017 at the age of 66, and wanted to offer his advice to those thinking about taking out insurance.

“I felt perfectly well. One morning I went to the toilet and there was blood in the bowl. I went to see my GP who sent a sample off, which came back negative, which is common.

My GP decided I should still see a specialist who proceeded to carry out a colonoscopy and it was then that they found the tumour. I knew it was bad when the nurse started crying. The diagnosis was told there and then, that I had cancer.”

“I was surprised as I hadn’t felt ill. I saw a consultant who told me what was being planned – a four month course of chemotherapy followed by a procedure which would remove a bit of my bowel.”

“I carried on working as much as possible during the treatment as it gives you something to do but there are times when you really can’t work. I had regular hospital visits with treatment and drugs – I never knew how I was going to feel. I could be fine one minute and the next couldn’t face anything. It’s really horrible. One thing that made me feel really ill was the chemotherapy; now that I would not wish upon anyone. I cannot describe what that does to you. On one occasion I had to come home in an ambulance as I couldn’t walk and my vision was blurred. You just feel rotten.”

“I remember sitting in the hospital reception thinking ‘I’m going to die, I’m just going to die here’”.

Alex waited until just before his surgery before contacting us regarding his critical illness claim.

“It became clear to me that whatever happened, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to work again as I was going to have to wear a colostomy bag. It would be very difficult to do what I did with a colostomy bag due to the nature of the job. So that was when I decided to claim.

Alex was amazed at how easy the claims process was. “You usually feel like you are just a number but I was surprised when I rang up and was able to speak to someone who knew what they were talking about. They explained clearly from outset what would happen and what would be required, the person I spoke to was great. I was particularly pleased that the payment went through so easily. I was very pleased with the whole process.”

Alex also claimed on our unique claims support fund which can pay up to £300 for a variety of out of pocket expenses as a result of illness or a family members death.

“Small things like that make a huge difference. I wasn’t allowed to drive after my operation so I had to get a taxi to the hospital. £10 there and £10 back. My wife coming to visit me was also £10 there and £10 back. This amount adds up. So the support fund was enormously useful to cover those costs.”

“My intention was to work until I was 70 and then retire, but due to the surgery I had to stop work earlier than I intended. This payment has aided me financially and that’s putting it mildly. Being self-employed and having not been able to work to full capacity since June 2017, means no money. There are other things too, things people don’t think about – contracts for TV, mobile phones, broadband, monthly outgoings and so on. All those things you don’t think about. For your income to fall or suddenly stop due to being ill, it can be very very difficult.”

“Anybody who is thinking about getting critical illness cover or looking for excuses not to do it – speaking to me for 15 minutes will change their mind, because it does make a difference. I wish I was 30 years younger with a mission to change attitudes towards insurance.”

For Alex, the surgery he underwent was successful and they managed to remove all of the tumour with the cancer not spreading any further and he is doing well.

AIG customer case study – claim paid in 2017. The image shown is for illustration purposes.

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY REVIEW – MARCH 2018

Our monthly residential market review is intended to provide background to recent developments in property markets, as well as to give an indication of how some key issues could impact in the future.

 

Remortgages hit a nine-year high

In their recent mortgage trends update, UK Finance revealed that remortgages reached a nine-year high in January. In addition, both the number of home movers and first-time-buyers increased, when compared with the same period last year.

Jackie Bennett, the Director of Mortgages at UK Finance commented on these findings: “Remortgaging in January reached a nine-year high, as a number of previous fixed rate mortgages came to an end while borrowers locked into attractive deals amid expectations of further interest rate rises. While an increase in remortgaging is expected in the New Year as people put their household finances in order, this strong growth is above the seasonal fluctuations we tend to see at this time of year.

Despite this marked increase in remortgaging, the appetite for buy-to-let remains subdued, as a direct result of the government’s tax and regulatory changes.

Improved transport links boosts residential demand

Savills ‘Market in Minutes’ UK development research paper on new homes and infrastructure has highlighted the vital role that transport plays in residential property development. Developers are taking advantage of the increasing demand for new homes and infrastructure in commuter locations, as an increasing number of people look to relocate from the Capital.

The research pinpointed that stations experiencing the highest increase in passengers over the last two years were those situated within a 19 to 39 minute journey from a central London terminal. Cheaper locations in the Home Counties, in up-andcoming areas, such as Luton and Ebbsfleet, look set to become increasingly popular, as transport links improve – helping to support residential property demand and prices.

When people are considering relocation to a new area, the presence of a transport hub, such as a station, can fuel demand, boosting house prices as a result. Over the last five years, stations with the largest increase in passenger use, such as Didcot Parkway and Aylesbury Vale Parkway, have experienced house price growth that is on average 5% higher than surrounding areas.

Is Help-to-Buy working in everyone’s interest?

The government’s popular Help-to-Buy housing policy has recently been criticised following beliefs from various housing market observers that it may have actually fuelled demand as opposed to addressing the housing market’s major issue – supply. Many feel the policy requires reform to prevent housebuilders exploiting it to enhance their profits irrespective of the number of homes they build.

Specifically designed to support would-be first-time-buyers in their efforts to step on the housing ladder, Colin Lewis, the Chief Executive of housebuilder Avant Homes, has called on other residential property developers to get a social conscience regarding the number of house builds actually started and their subsequent profit margins, he commented: “If we are to continue with this valuable initiative, changes must be made to rebalance the benefits of the policy to homebuyers and away from housebuilders.”

This follows the uproar caused over the recent executive pay deal at Persimmon, the UK’s second largest housebuilder. Accused of benefitting from the Help-to-Buy scheme, they were forced to reduce the bonus payments of three executives by £51 million.

HOUSE PRICES HEADLINE STATISTICS

HOUSE PRICE INDEX (JAN 2018)* 118.3*
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE £225,621
MONTHLY CHANGE -0.3%
ANNUAL CHANGE 4.9%
*(Jan 2015= 100)

  • UK house prices grew by 4.9% in the year to January 2018, down from 5% in the year to December 2017.
  • The largest annual price growth was recorded in Scotland, where prices increased by 7.3%over the year to January 2018.

 

HOUSE PRICES PRICE CHANGE BY REGION

Region   Monthly Change (%) Annual Change (%) Average Price (£)
England   -0.5 4.6 £242,286
Northern Ireland
(Quarter 4 – 2017)
  1.0 4.3 £130,482
Scotland   1.4 7.3 £148,512
Wales   -0.5 4.5 £153,034
East Midlands   -0.1 7.3 £185,568
East of England   -0.7 5.3 £289,729
London   1.0 2.1 £485,830
North East   -5.5 0.7 £122,870
North West   -1.5 4.3 £155,788
South East   0.2 3.4 £323,435
South West   1.4 6.9 £255,307
West Midlands Region   -2.0 5.3 £187,905
Yorkshire & The Humber   -0.7 5.1 £156,484
Source: The Land Registry
Release date: 20/03/2018 Next date release: 18/04/2018

AVERAGE MONTHLY PRICE BY PROPERTY TYPE – JAN 2018

PROPERTY TYPE ANNUAL INCREASE
DETACHED
£341,478
(5.0%)
SEMI-DETACHED 
£212,833
(5.8%)
TERRACED
£181,256
(4.6%)
FLAT / MAISONETTE
£203,840
(4.0%)

Source: The Land Registry
Release date: 20/03/2018

Contains HM Land Registry data © Crown copyright and database right 2017. This data is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

MORTGAGE ACTIVITY

  • Gross mortgage lending in January is estimated at £21.9bn
  • 9.7% higher than one year earlier
  • Above the monthly average of £21.4bn for 2017

Source: UK Finance (formerly Council of Mortgage Lenders)
Release date:
 26/02/2018

Chancellors – Spring Statement

We have sought to pick out all of the key points from the Chancellors Statement on 13 March, including:

 The economy

Borrowing

Employment

Inflation and wages

Spending

Brexit

Skills

Other news

Closing comments

Taxation infographic 2018-19 tax year

Download – 07760 – Spring Statement 2018_4 page_My Mortgage Experts

 We do hope that you find this update both interesting and informative. Should you have any queries, or require more information on any of the areas covered or any other financial matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

WHY FAMILIES NEED PROTECTION AGAINST LIFE’S UNEXPECTED EVENTS

WHY FAMILIES NEED PROTECTION AGAINST LIFE’S UNEXPECTED EVENTS

We all want to do the best for our families, and keep them properly protected on every occasion. Understandably, nobody wants to dwell on the unwelcome and unexpected events that life sometimes has in store. So, it’s hardly surprising that many people overlook the benefits of protection insurance that could be a great help financially in the case of an accident, illness or death.

One of the many occasions when it can be vital for parents to think about the protection policies they need to have in place, is when they are making their wills. It’s often the case that couples will, very sensibly, nominate relatives or close friends whom they would like to step in to act as a guardian to their children, if anything were to happen to them both.

Although anyone appointed to fulfil this important role would be gratified to be thought of as worthy of carrying it out, it’s important to remember that there could be all sorts of financial implications for them and their families.

PROVIDING FOR YOUR FAMILY’S FUTURE

If family members or friends had to step in and look after the children, they would need to have sufficient financial provision in place to be able to do so. If, for instance, the guardian lives in a different part of the country, they might have to move both house and job to look after the children’s needs. A pay-out from a policy could make the difference between your family facing a financial struggle at a challenging and emotional period in their lives, and being able to maintain the sort of lifestyle they enjoyed when you were still around.

HOW WE CAN HELP

We’re on hand to help you choose the most appropriate cover, based on our research into what’s on offer from a wide range of insurers. We can save you hours of internet searching and calls to insurance companies for quotes, and make the process far less time-consuming and stressful.