Top Tips for Protecting Your Finances During CV19
With businesses closing for prolonged periods of time, many households experiencing reductions in income and sadly many losing their jobs, taking care of the money in your pocket has become a key priority for many.
In addition to the support announced by the Government, what help, and support is available to help your bank balance survive the current health and financial crisis?
As we all look to tighten our belts businesses and individuals alike look to see where they can save money. When looking to cancel or reduce insurance we need to think carefully about whether reducing cover could expose us to greater risk.
Before cancelling your monthly Direct Debit for insurancespeak to one of the experienced, and helpful, brokers at Shearwater about the finance options we have available to customers. In most cases, support will take the form of waiving fees, temporary reduction in repayments, or a repayment holiday, thanks to our partnership with Close Brothers Finance.
Water UK have announced that water companies around the country have stepped up action to help customers who have lost their jobs or had their incomes cut during the coronavirus crisis.
Water companies are encouraging households suffering from immediate or short-term issues with paying their bills to get in contact so that they can receive help.
Support includes adjusting payment plans, payment holidays, helping customers get advice on benefits and managing debts, particularly for those customers who have not been in financial difficulties before, and alternative payment methods for those who are unable to leave their house due to Covid-19.
With regards to Council Tax, those that are struggling to pay are advised to speak to their local authority. A number of councils are offering forbearance for those that are unable to make payment in the near future.
Similar to water bills, energy companieshave suspended disconnections for those that are struggling financially, with most pushing back bill dates. British Gas has confirmed that it will be removing the late payment charges for those who have been affected financially due to the global pandemic.
Subscriptions & Leisure
Sky were on of their first to announce that services can be paused. Due to the suspension of sport around the world, Sky Sportscustomers are able to pause the sports element of their subscription. The media company also announced a raft of additions to their service to offer customers extra value for money and entertainment options during the lockdown period.
With travel severely restricted those with advance purchase train tickets, or season tickets, are now eligible for refunds. Season ticket holders are able to claim a refund for the unused portion of their ticket; however, this may be subject to a small admin charge.
Package holiday and flightsthat are cancelled are now due a monetary refund, and not simply a booking deferral or vouchers. However, given the current state of the travel and tourism industry this may see a change. If you’re happy with vouchers, take them, if not you are within your rights to insist on a full refund.
As many retailers look to move towards e-commerce brands are extending their returns policies. Many well-known brands are now offering 90 or even 100 days for items purchased both instore and online. This is taking into account the longer lead times from order to delivery and the delays that people may face in returning items due to self-isolation measures.
For vehicles requiring MOTsthe rules surrounding this have been amended to take the lockdown into consideration. For MOTs due after the 30thMarch 2020, they have been automatically extended for 6-months. Those due on or before the 29thMarch were still required to book a MOT unless the owner, or someone in their household, had coronavirus symptoms.
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