11/01/2014 Your Money


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Kermode. Now on BBC News, it's time for this


week's Your Money. Hello and welcome to Your Money,


your weekly guide to making the most of your cash here every weekend on


BBC News television and available all week on the BBC iPlayer.


Fixing the flood damage. The man from Direct Line is here to tell us


how to claim on your insurance and how quickly they will deal with it.


The cost of gambling. We'll hear from people who got help


when it became too much. The cost of Christmas. How to save


money by moving your debts around. One fact today that shows just how


big the risk of flooding still is. The River Thames is carrying ten


times the normal amount of water. The insurance industry has not told


us yet how much these New Year floods might cost, but consultants


say it will be worse than the 2007 floods. If you've been flooded,


you'll know just how damaging it is. It costs ?40,000 to repair a typical


home and get it warm and dry again. Darran Hull is Property Insurance


Adviser at Direct Line. Some practical stuff first. If


people have been flooded, what should they do?


They should contact their insurance company and register the claim and


get practical advice. What about repairs? Are you able to


get in touch with someone you know to come and fix things that really


do need to be fixed right away? We would advise not to put yourself at


risk because we are talking about flooded homes. Any temporary


repairs, we would be looking to have a contractor come out, and a claims


advisor. Alternative accommodation might be needed.


Some homeowners might want to get on with it appears right away rather


than wait for you and your associates to turn up? It depends on


the severity of it. If we are talking about high levels of water


into the property, our customers are best leaving it to our experts to


start that initial drying out. Alternative accommodation, you fix


it or does the homeowner arrange it? We would do that, thought the


customer might have local arrangements? Does the clean start


with the phone call, or do you have to write? When the customer makes a


phone call, they will know immediately how their claim will be


handled. A claims advisor will be appointed in the event of a large


claim. How much detail to the need for that initial call? If you have


just been flooded, and you are in a panic, you might not have the full


details of just how badly you have been affected? They need to do is


register that claim. We have experienced advisers who can guide


the customer. They need the advice we give them. Should they take


photographs of the damage to mark absolutely, that will help the


claims advisor when they come out to see what the extent of the flooding


was. How long will it take insurance companies to deal with this? When


Hull was flooded a few years back, people were still out of their homes


a year later. The most important thing is to register the claim as


soon as you can so looking at the claim moving. But how long does it


take you to fix it? It will take some time to dry out the property.


This is what we will educate customers on, how long it will take


to dry the property before we can effect repairs. But they will


obviously pay for alternative accommodation whilst they are not in


their home. Thank you for joining us.


If you only remember one thing today, remember this. If you have to


fill up a tax form, you have only got until the end of this month,


31st January, to fill the form up online and pay the bill. There are


automatic fines if you miss the deadline unless you've got a


reasonable excuse. The goldfish ate it doesn't count as a reasonable


excuse. If you are late, you could be fined even if you don't actually


owe any tax. It's up to you to check if you have to send in a form.


Remember, if you get child benefit and one of you earns more than


?50,000 a year, you have to fill up a self-assessment form too.


The last of the big six energy firms has finally cut its prices. Npower


will cut bills at the end of February. By 2.5%. You'll remember


when bills went up last December they rose by more than 10%. If


you're on a dual-fuel bill, you will get an average cut of 38 quid.


Customers on fixed prices will get the price cut too. Only three of the


big six have cut prices for their fixed rate customers. All npower


electricity customers will also get a ?12 rebate, but not until the


autumn. No win, no fee say the lawyers. Yet


some of them still charge when you don't win. The Legal Ombudsman says


it dealt with around 600 cases last year where lawyers wrongly billed


clients for significant and unexpected costs. As a result, it


ordered firms to pay almost ?1 million in compensation. If you need


to complain about your lawyer, the Legal Ombudsman website tells you


how to do it. Car insurance bills could fall


because the Government is putting driving licences online. It means we


will not need the paper bit of the licences after 2015. But it also


means insurance companies will be able to check our licences and see


our traffic offences when they give us a quote.


Fancy a flutter? Like playing the odds? We're spending more and more


on gambling. Some, however, are spending more than they can afford


or control. Here's Kevin Peachey. It can be easy to get in a spin with


gambling. Find us a bit of financial fun become an expensive excess? It


is just so simple. 44-year-old Justyn Larcombe was a compulsive


gambler with a lot to lose. I had a lovely house, I had a Porsche, my


wife had a Mercedes, we have lovely holidays, two young children.


Everything we wanted. It did not take long for it all to be gambled


away. I lost my house, over three quarters of ?1 million, and the


trust of my wife and my children. I will never be able to have another


bet again, not even a lottery ticket. That leaves him in a


minority. The National lottery has made


betting a mainstream pastime. Slightly more men than women gamble.


A typical household spends... That figure is rising and is more than be


spent on going to the cinema, theatre and museums combine. You do


not have to go to a casino to place a bet any more. You can gamble


online at any time. Technology has contributed to one in 20 young men


facing the risk of an addiction. They are comfortable with the


technology but do not understand the risks. All the big companies will


have a responsible gambling page on their website, so go there and read


it and find out how to set time and spending limits. There are also ways


you can exclude yourself from websites.


Should the industry do more, especially when they see numbers


face to face? A good shop will now its customers and will see when


someone is getting out of control. Measures are in place now and we are


introducing a new code to set even higher standards.


If you are tempted, experts say it is vital to carefully consider what


is at stake. Free money. There, that got your


attention, didn't it? This isn't so much free as getting back money that


should never have been taken from you. Seven million people are to get


refunds and compensation for buying insurance they didn't need or


already had for their banks and credit cards. The insurance was sold


by the financial company CPP, which operated through 12 high street


banks and card companies. Policyholders should receive between


?100 and ?300 each. If you are thinking, is that me? Am I entitled


to this? It's for insurance that was bought or renewed since 14 January


2005. These are the products that are


covered. If you have got a big debt on your


credit card after Christmas, one way to save money is to switch it over


to a cheaper credit card. It's called a balance transfer.


James Daley is a personal finance expert.


What deals are out there? The good news is that at the moment we have


the best credit card deals we have ever seen. You can get 0% interest


on balance transfer for up to 30 months, and that is before you have


to pay a penny in interest. But there will be a fee, a balance


transfer fee. But there is competition on those as well.


Typically between 2.5 and 3%. But you can even pay as little as .05%.


But that is not necessarily the total cost? You have to watch out


that you set up an direct debit as soon as you get that card. If you


miss a single payment, you will miss all the benefit of the balance


transfer. And back charges? Yes, you have to be really careful. Keep up


with all those interest payments. Do you always get the rate that is


advertised? For some people, absolutely not. The credit card


company does not have to give the deal advertised, it is only to 51%


of people who apply that have to be given that deal. Then you get to the


end of the deal, the balance transfer deal, the rate can go up.


There were people who had debt and moved it from credit card to credit


card and did not pay it back. Is there a risk to your credit rating


if you do that? Not necessarily. You are waiting to get from one deal to


another and you have only got one credit card at a time and that is a


responsible person. News and information on borrowing and


spending is online. You are watching BBC News, the


headlines: Teachers in England


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