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How To Avoid Becoming A Postcode Victim

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There have been some alarming revelations recently about the importance of our postcode when it comes to insurance and health care. Insurance providers use them to try to work out our level of risk but if you think that where you live will is having a detrimental affect there are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a postcode victim.
If, for example, you live somewhere with high life expectancy, you’ll get a poorer annuity rate. But on the plus side, you may get a better deal on your car and home insurance because on a basic level, there is apparently some correlation between high crime and low life expectancy. Check the UK crime maps for more information.
The question of health care and help given for community care may be governed by a stricter code of assessment, due to financial quotas or poor policy making in some areas.
Life expectancy in the area in which you live will have a significant impact on what you can buy with your pension. If you are a smoker, have high blood pressure or are overweight if may be necessary to purchase an ‘enhanced annuity’ which can boost the annual income by as much as 33%.
A recent Which? Investigation found ‘huge variations’ in the cost of care at home, with some local authorities charging over £20 an hour for home care services that others provided free. Some authorities impose a cap, or work out how much should be paid based on personal savings.
If you or a member of the family need some form of care, or go into a residential home, ask your local authority for an assessment for how much you can expect for help although there appears to be an obvious postcode lottery in this area. Charity Age UK has guidelines on its website.
Some problems are marginal, such as an £8 per year difference in home insurance between a property in Glasgow rather than Chelsea in London.
If your house is in an area prone to flooding – even if the property has never been affected by rising water – your home will be expensive or even uninsurable. Check any area you are considering a move to with the Environment Agency’s flood map.
Some insurers have a greater degree of flexibility. Some use an entire postcode, other just the first part.
If you feel you are genuinely missing out because of where you live and are considering moving away, remember that area and rules can change. Make sure you are in full possession of the facts before making any drastic changes – after all there are more important things in life than cheaper home insurance.
It makes sense to get as many quotes as you can, especially if the area is designated a high crime area, or weather-related problems where insurers have increased the cost of cover by massive amounts.


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