COVID-19 Update

As we get settled into life in lockdown, we want to update you on developments here at Hollybeck and the wider mortgage & insurance market.

We all know these are challenging and worrying times, but Hollybeck is well placed to weather the storm and come out the other side stronger than ever. We want to take this opportunity to thank you, our lovely clients, for your patience and understanding during this time, as the market shifts and we try to navigate it.

We hope you, your family, and our wider community can stay safe and keep positive. Never have we seen such amazing community efforts to protect those around us – a true testament to the wonderful people of the UK and our Great British spirit.

Anyway… onto the updates:

Hollybeck Service Levels

As house buyers are now being advised to delay any move, we are expecting a delay in completions and therefore a reduction in the need to administer these cases for the time being. As buyers aren’t allowed to view properties, there is also a slowdown in new applications. With the uncertainty around how long this crisis will last and the economic fallout that will follow, we are anticipating lower levels of new enquiries and so, with a heavy heart, furloughing some of our wonderful team looks likely.

We are all currently working from home and trying hard to keep things running as normal, but you might find that your application passes to another member of our admin team.

Whilst we anticipate temporary changes within our business, we are totally committed to maintaining our usual high standards of customer care and we are very much open for business!

Mortgages

Mortgage Holidays

It may be possible for you to request a ‘payment holiday’ if you are unable to work and will struggle to make your mortgage payments. A payment holiday is when you take a break from paying all or part of your monthly mortgage payment. Lenders do have certain conditions that need to be met, but this could be an option for you. Please speak directly to your lender to find out more.

Our advice is to check the mortgage lenders website first and foremost as many have now set up online forms to complete, to avoid long waiting times.

New Application Restrictions

Many mortgage companies are no longer accepting new mortgage applications for a purchase or remortgage where you want to borrow over 60/65% of your property value. This is because they will not be able to send a valuer to physically value your home.  This will also free up more time for them to deal with payment holiday requests and ensure those who have a mortgage offer in place, get it extended.

This is a temporary measure and we are expecting this to be lifted as soon as it is safe for valuations to take place again.

Please check with us and we can advise you on the best course of action.

Switching to a new deal with your existing lender

The good news is that these restrictions do not apply to those customers who want to transfer on to a new deal with their current lender. If you are coming to the end of your special deal a new one will be available if your mortgage exceeds 75% loan to value.

Our team is able to process any product switch for you, free of charge. Please get in touch for more details.

Insurance

Existing Insurance Policies

We have received many calls from clients asking if COVID-19 is covered on their insurance policy. Providing you took out insurance before the outbreak, you will be covered subject to your policy’s usual terms and conditions.

  • Life Insurance

Yes, if you were to pass away as a result of COVID-19 your family will be able to claim on your policy.

  • Critical Illness

COVID-19 is not classed as a critical illness and is not covered. However, if you suffer another illness due to complications, for example a heart attack, or need treatment in intensive care, some policies may have something you can claim on.

If you are hospitalised, your family are welcome to call us to check what cover you have.

  • Income Protection (IP)

If you contract coronavirus and suffer from a loss of income as a result, you may be able to claim. All income protection policies have a ‘deferment period’ which is the time you have to be unable to work as a result of your illness, before you can submit a claim.

Most coronavirus symptoms last no longer than 7 days and so won’t be covered, as most IP policies have a deferred period of 4 weeks or longer.

Self-isolation may be covered, but this does depend on your insurance company’s policy – so please check with us or directly with your insurer.

Please call us if you need further help.

Virtual GP Services

Some insurers offer ‘Virtual GP’ services and these will remain available and will be particularly useful at a time when the NHS is facing additional strain. The providers of these services have made clear that this service is not to be used for coronavirus related queries as these should be directed to NHS 111 in line with current government guidance, so please bear this in mind.

I am struggling financially, should I cancel?

If you need to cut back on your outgoings and are considering cancelling an existing policy, we urge you to speak to us first as we can advise you on how this will affect you.

Policies taken out before the COVID-19 outbreak will not have any exclusion for a COVID-19 claim, therefore providing you with cover should you contract the virus.

New Insurance Policies

Some insurers have temporarily stopped accepting new applications for cover due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many will not offer you cover if you are currently experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus, or have been advised to self-isolate.

Specific changes with insurers are:

Life Insurance / Critical Illness Cover

  • No applications being accepted by some insurers
  • Applications being ‘postponed’ whilst experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus, or have been advised to self-isolate.
  • Cover being offered but a specific exclusion meaning no claim for coronavirus can be made

Income Protection

  • No applications being accepted by some insurers
  • Applications being ‘postponed’ whilst experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus, or have been advised to self-isolate.
  • Cover being offered but a specific exclusion meaning no claim for coronavirus can be made
  • Applications with deferment periods of 1 day, 1 week, 4 weeks and 8 weeks being declined.

If you have any questions please do get in touch with us and we’ll do our very best to help you. Please do bear with us as we are experiencing high call and email volumes.

Many Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Life Insurance – Do I Need It?

Life Insurance – Do I Need It?

You’ve probably heard of life insurance but what is it exactly and most importantly how would it benefit you?

What is Life Insurance and what is it used for?

In a nutshell life insurance pays out a sum of money if you die. This money is typically paid to your partner, spouse or children and it protects them from financial hardship and an uncertain future in the event of you dying.

Protecting your Family

If you are married or in a relationship and have children who are financially dependent on you then the chances are, life insurance is vital. If you died would your spouse or partner struggle to pay the rent or mortgage? Would they still be able to go on a family holiday each year? Could they afford to pay for after school clubs, swimming lessons, birthday and Christmas presents, university fees, utility bills, run a car, buy groceries and all the other expenses life throws at us?

It’s easy to underestimate how much running a household and raising a family costs. Try punching your details into this handy life insurance calculator by Aviva and you may be shocked at just how much these costs could amount to.

Stay at Home Mums & Dads

You may think that if you don’t work there’s no need to take out life insurance. But if you died who would look after your children? Would your partner have additional childcare costs? Perhaps they would want to work less hours and spend more time with your children, especially at such a tragic time. Would this be possible financially though? A life insurance payout could give your family options and relieve the financial stress at a very difficult time.

Protecting your Home

One of the biggest purchases you’re likely to make is your house. Whether it’s your first house or you’re moving to a new one, buying your own home is an incredible feeling. It’s where you keep everything that’s personal to you, where you raise your children, it’s your safe haven. It’s also a financial investment and over the years you’ll accumulate an increasing amount of equity in the bricks and mortar of your house. So naturally it makes sense to safeguard this emotionally and financially valuable asset.

A mortgage life insurance policy would pay your mortgage off if you die. So if you die before your mortgage is repaid your spouse or partner can pay off the remaining debt and live mortgage free, significantly reducing financial pressure on your family.

Inheritance Tax Planning

When you die everything you own forms part of your estate. If this is valued at more than the inheritance tax threshold (currently set at £325,000 for an individual and £650,000 for a married couple as of 2017) you will be taxed at a whopping 40%! This is a hefty price to pay for savings and investments that you’ve worked hard to build up over your lifetime and it could mean that you leave your family much less than you had hoped to.

A life insurance policy can be set up in a certain way so that it doesn’t form part of your estate for tax purposes. This policy can then be used to pay your inheritance tax bill making it a very tax efficient way to protect your family’s inheritance.

Single People with No Dependants

If you’re single and nobody depends on you financially life insurance isn’t something you’ll generally need. There are other types of insurance such as Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover that would benefit you though. If you’d like to learn more about these please fill in the form below or give us a call.

Do you Need Life Insurance?

If you’ve read this far you can probably decide for yourself whether you need life insurance. If you are still unsure and would like some free advice or if you’d like us to find the right life insurance policy for you at the best price give us a call on 01332 416470 or simply fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch.

Life Insurance – Protecting Your Family From The Unexpected

Brother & sister playing on tablet

Do you need life insurance?

If you have a large amount of money in savings that could be used to provide for your family in the event of your death then perhaps not. If this doesn’t apply to you then read on…

Emotional & financial impact of death

Losing a parent is devastating for any child and there really are no words to express the feelings of grief and loss that a family will go through. Aside from the emotional suffering though, there is the life-changing financial impact and a single-wage family may have to make many sacrifices. Ask yourself, If you were in this situation could you afford to continue sending your kids to after-school clubs and classes? Would you have to cut back on your leisure and entertainment spending? Could you afford to go on holiday? And most importantly of all could you still afford to put food on the table and pay your household bills and mortgage or rent?

The importance of planning for the unexpected

Death is something we don’t like to think about so many of us don’t. It’s also something many of us fail to plan for financially. If you lost your partner you may find you have to make many changes or you may be forced to work more hours and spend less time with your children. This in itself may mean additional costs for childcare and all of this at a time when you are trying to come to terms with your loss and just want to be with your children to support them.

Happy family protected by life insurance.

How can life insurance help?

A life insurance policy is a way to ensure your family is financially provided for. It pays out a sum of money in the event of the policyholder dying. This can be paid either as a lump-sum or as a monthly benefit for a set number of years. They are often inexpensive and can give you the peace of mind that your family will not need to struggle with money worries if the worst should happen.

Have a chat with us

If you’d like to find out more about life insurance please fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch. Hollybeck provide free protection advice and we don’t charge a fee if we set up an insurance policy for you.