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June Newsletter

Welcome to our June newsletter. In this issue we have unoccupied property insurance as product of the month. A third of people who rent don't have contents insurance. State pension blunder sees 360,000 people given the wrong forecasts and how long do penalty points stay on your licence.

Product of the Month


Importance of unoccupied home insurance

Whatever the reason, it’s important to insure an empty property in case something goes wrong. For example, could you afford to pay for damage caused by a flood or fire? What would happen if the house was targeted by thieves or vandals?


The 30-day rule


You might already have home insurance in place, but your existing policy is unlikely to be adequate. Most insurers will not cover a property if it is left unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days. So, if you were to make a claim on your standard insurance it would most likely not pay out.


Range of risks


Most unoccupied property insurance policies insure a range of risks including storm, flood, fire and theft. Your liability as the property owner would also be covered in case, for example, a slate blew off the roof and damaged your neighbour’s conservatory. But it’s always worth checking any exclusions. Some home insurance firms are reluctant to insure an empty property against malicious damage. There might also be restrictions on theft of contents and any damage caused by an escape of water.


Short term cover


You don’t have to insure an empty house for the usual 12 months required by a normal policy. Most firms allow you to arrange cover for three, six, nine or 12 months, with the option to extend if necessary. So, you might take out a three-month policy to cover your property while it is up for sale. But if the sale takes longer than expected, you could simply extend the policy as required.


You may be interested in our landlords policy


You may also like a quote for Home Insurance or Car Insurance

<span style="font-weight: bold;">A third of private renters no have contents insurance</span>


Housing association tenants are more likely to have home insurance than private renters, according to new research from the AA.

Its figures show that a third of private renters do not have any home insurance, compared to a quarter of housing association tenants.

Additionally, just 54% of private renters have contents insurance compared to 64% of housing association tenants.

The AA says housing association tenants may be more likely to have home insurance due to housing managers recommending in-house contents insurance cover to their clients.

When looking at the national picture, almost one in ten homes (9%) do not have any type of home insurance, rising to 29% for low income households.


Janet Connor, managing director for AA Insurance services, said: “It is worrying that 2.4 million households risk losing it all as they have no home insurance.

“The widely reported high cost of private rent may be a reason why renters are not buying any form of cover. With three in 10 low income households saying they do not have insurance, it is possible they see insurance as a ‘nice to have but cannot afford’ purchase.

“For less than £1 a week, renters can give themselves and their possessions protection and peace of mind regardless of how they got damaged, lost or stolen.

“Rather than have nowhere to turn, we want every household to have some form of insurance cover, as anything can happen.”

State pension data blunder sees 360,000 people given wrong forecasts


The government has admitted that a “significant problem” resulted in hundreds of thousands people being told they would get a higher state pension than they were actually due.

A massive data blunder meant that 360,000 state pension forecasts handed out online over the past three years were out by up to £1,500, said Guy Opperman, the pensions minister. 

The widespread error means thousands of people will have planned to fund their retirement based on misleading information. The former pensions minister Steve Webb called for an urgent stop to the incorrect statements.

The extent of the failings is a major embarrassment for the government, which has been trying to persuade people of the merits of planning for their retirement using a long-awaited online tool called the pensions dashboard. 

Problems with inaccurate forecasts had been previously raised with the Department for Work and Pensions, which initially tried to claim they were isolated errors.The true size of the issue was was revealed in letter published on Tuesday from Mr Opperman to Mr Webb. "Analysis has identified that currently no more than 3 per cent of people will be impacted by the issue you have raised,” Mr Opperman said.

“It is also important to note that omission or errors will be rectified before they retire. However, I nonetheless recognise there is a significant problem here.”


Erroneous forecasts have been issued from 2016 when the DWP launched an online checking service which was billed as “the go-to way for people to easily find out how much they could get, and when they could get it”.

Over 12 million forecasts have been issued with more than a third of a million now thought to have been incorrect. 


People who have been members of defined benefit pension schemes with “complex” work histories are most at risk of having incorrect forecasts.


The revelation will raise serious questions about the government’s ability to deliver its pensions dashboard project, which is due to go live this year.

Via the dashboard, savers are supposed to be able to get a “big picture” view all of the different savings pots they have accrued through various jobs over their lifetime. 

Mr Webb, who is now director of policy at Royal London, said: “People are increasingly encouraged to use online services to help plan their retirement, and the new pensions dashboard will rely heavily on such data. 


“It is therefore very worrying that hundreds of thousands of people may have received incorrect state pension forecasts and in some cases will have taken decisions about their retirement plans on the basis of incorrect information.  

“Now that the government is aware of the scale of the problem, it must put an urgent stop to the issuing of incorrect statements. 

“Individuals need to have confidence that the information they receive from the government is accurate and should not have to live with the uncertainty that a statement they have already received may be seriously incorrect.”

<span style="font-weight: bold;">How long do penalty points stay on your license ?</span>


It depends on the type of offence. For more serious offences the endorsement starts on the date of conviction, and for others on the date of the offence. (N.B. The codes shown in brackets below are the codes that show on your licence).


4 years from the date of conviction for dangerous driving (DD40, DD60 and DD80) or offences resulting in disqualification.


4 years from the date of offence in all other cases.


11 years from the date of conviction for:

  • Drinking/drugs & driving (DR10, DR20, DR30, DR31, DR61 and DR80)
  • Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink/drugs (CD40, CD50 and CD60)
  • Causing death by careless driving, then failing to provide a specimen for analysis (CD70)


Totting Up (TT99): if you get 12 or more points within a period of 3 years, you'll be disqualified under the totting up system but at the end of disqualification the points accrued in those three years will normally no longer count against you.

Expired endorsements will usually be removed automatically from your driving record when they are no longer valid.

From 8 June 2015, existing paper counterparts to driving licences will no longer have any legal status - drivers do not need to do anything; they just keep their current photocard driving licence. Note that the DVLA are not abolishing paper driving licences issued before they introduced the photocard in 1998, and any driver who holds this type of licence should keep it and not destroy it. However, from 8 June 2015, whilst the licence (whether photocard or paper) will remain the official document that shows what vehicles a person can drive, the driver record held by DVLA will be the only legal record of the penalty points a driver has. Therefore, from 8 June 2015, paper driving licences will no longer be marked with endorsements - drivers can use the link below to find out how many points they have on their licence or when they'll be removed:


If endorsements are incorrectly shown on your driving licence you'll need to contact the court that convicted you.


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