FCA investigates 30m insurance policies


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced a probe into millions of insurance coverage – some up to forty years old – over fears that customers with older contracts are forgotten with the industry.

The regulator said its review will include 30 millionendowments and pensions, investment bonds and life insurance policies sold by firms from the 1970s to the beginning of the decade.

Specifics of the investigation, which is set to be launched in the summer, should be given in the FCA’s annual business plan for the next financial year, which will be released at the beginning of next week.

Regions of concern

The FCA stated it comes after concerns were raised that individuals policyholders who hold older contracts are certainly not being treated using the same priority as those with new contracts.

And instead are faced with high fees and substandard service.

One of the regions of concern identified are so-called zombie funds, that happen to be not open to new customers and they are often neglected by existing ones.

The FCA said it is unfair that some insurers use the returns readily available funds to cover the costs utilizing parts of their businesses.

When a customer tries to switch to a less expensive provider, the regulator also said that a tremendous proportion of insurance policies include exit fees which could reduce a policy’s value by half.

Unfair overheads

Clive Adamson, the director of supervision at the FCA, told The Daily Telegraph: We wish to find out how closed-book products are being serviced by insurance companies.

We are concerned insurers are allocating an unfair amount of overheads to historic funds.

As firms cut prices and make new products, there is a danger that customers with older contracts are forgotten. We want to ensure they obtain a fair deal.

As part of the review we will collect information to determine whether we need to intervene on exit charges.

Creative date ideas

Dating in Southern California is infamously difficult. Though you will find seemingly trillions of excited singles out there, finding and courting the right one is improbably taxing. The key for you to make a great first impression and then maintaining that excitement is usually to be creative, whimsical and smart. If you feel you can stroll into those shoes, I have a couple of hints and suggestions for you, in the event that doesn’t seem like you, maybe you should be thinking of making that move to a less challenging city, however.

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While the stereotypical Los Angeles lady will judge yourself on your car, 99% of these will not. They may, however, judge you on your taste in cars (and everything else.) And they can with valid reason. If you are not just a man of success quite yet, your good taste and fine judgment will illustrate to your potential sweetheart that you are a person of class, even. That’s why an incredible date idea is to take a girl on the test drive of the car you want. May I please suggest something from the new and inspired armada of Nissans? The all new Altima is the very essence of taste and perfection, as your lovely date will undoubtedly soon find out.

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You’re showing her the perfect marriage of practicality and whimsy, and that’s no easy feat,. That is the fantastic thing about taking a young lady over a test drive of a fancy car. Bring that to the fact that you will both be getting a rush of excitement when you pump your food on the pedal, and you have each of the ingredients for a great, foodless date. Oh yeah, take her out for dinner after. To discover the perfect meal to accompany your beautiful date, you don’t ought to spend lots of money, especially in La. If you’re in the market for a whole new Altima, or maybe you just want to impress a lady, go online to either Alhambra Nissan or www.downtownnissan.com and offer her something to talk to her friends about!

If an impromptu test drive isn’t quite your cup of tea, it’s always classy and interesting to consider your lucky date to appreciate every one of the wonderful nature that L . A . County is offering. This could be as simple as the iconic Griffith Observatory or as adventurous being a long and exquisite hike through the Santa Monica Mountains. If you’re on a bit of a time crunch, or for reasons unknown, your new beau or belle doesn’t desire to hike deep into the wilderness with you, Griffith Park delivers a diverse array of activities and sites which will have her singing your praise and you also saving money for that dinner afterwards.

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Remember, in order to get the dreamy and exciting waves of romance undulating, you should do something unexpected. Inside a city of over ten million people, that’s not an easy thing to do.

Government Aims To Have Clearer Road Signs Installed


The us government wants to give councils new powers to reduce the number of road markings and signs across the UK.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill announced the plans on Thursday, claiming they would lead to safer and much less cluttered roads.

The changes form part of a consultation running until 12 June, that proposes the roll-out of new low-level traffic light signals to offer cyclists a head-start over other vehicles.

It is said that when the changes arrived at fruition the Department of Transport may have fewer signs to authorise and it will reduce red tape by streamlining the approvals process councils have to go through.

Unnecessary clutter

The volume of signs have soared from 2 million in 1993 to over 4.6 million today, Mr Goodwill said.

This is causing unnecessary clutter in our cities and towns.

In addition to cutting clutter, it is suggested the signs that are left will be easier for road users to comprehend.

The minister added: The proposed changes means greater flexibility for councils to cut the volume of signs, whilst ensuring consistency and making certain our roads are even safer for motorists and cyclists.

It is also proposed that local councils will be provided greater flexibility in the style of road layouts and yellow-box junctions, while there are also intends to relax parking regulations.

Intends to help cyclists

The introduction of low-level lights is just one of a series of measures designed to make cycling an even more attractive option for road users.

Other plans include introducing larger cycle boxes at traffic lights to improve cyclist safety; rolling out shared road crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, and getting rid of lead-in lanes at advance stop lines that mean cyclists have to enter a cycle box near the kerb.

The government says it offers drawn up its plans to revise the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) after speaking with local councils, traffic authorities, sign consultants and makers.

Infortainment system with Volvo’s Carplay+D3008


It remains to be noticed which automaker will be the first to bring Apple’s CarPlay on the market although with at the very least 18 automakers signed on and five promising availability by the end of 2014, there’s no doubt how the iPhone-integrating system will be coming soon into a car close to you.

We had a chance to see CarPlay in action at the New York auto show, where Volvo possessed a mockup of how it might look in the redesigned XC90 SUV, due out later this current year. And while we were impressed, the demo left us with some concerns.

The mockup combines CarPlay with Volvo’s own first touch-screen interface, that provides a clean design with four big tiles to access navigation,climate and entertainment, and CarPlay. Pressing any of the tiles takes you into easy to navigate sub menus, with the choice to scroll left or right to dive even deeper into vehicle and app set-up screens. In addition, the screen uses uses infrared technology and may be operated even while wearing gloves. Fonts and icons are large-at least about the main screens.

That’s all well and good, but where things get more complicated is when CarPlay is rolled into the mix. Adding the Apple system brings navigation options as well as other apps stored on your phone, which may add convenience. But based on this demo, it might bring redundancy and confusion when layered atop from the Volvo’s built in systems. From what we saw, users could find themselves with two sets of navigation favorites or commonly used point-of interest destinations, address books, and more. And the rigid app structure available from Apple doesn’t permitadding and deleting, or moving the on screen icons included with CarPlay.

Some of the confusion is eased by the excellent Siri voice interface, which responds well to natural speech and is simple to use. But in the long run, CarPlay’s appeal may be confined to IOSophiles, that happen to be admittedly a large bunch. Others, or families who use both Android and Apple devices, will likely be happier with whatever factory system includes their car. Which inside the Volvo, is probably not such bad. In either case, we’ll reserve judgment until we’ve had the chance to try the Volvo system and CarPlay.

Cars for a Family


A family car can mean numerous things, but should you prefer a car that the entire family can get the most from, you have to start by considering each member’s individual needs. The very first question to ask is who will be driving the auto? Are there multiple drivers within your family? Maybe your and you spouse will both use the car to get to work, your teenager will use it to visit friends on the weekends, and your nanny will use it to pick up the children from school on some days. You’ll have to look at the individual needs of all these drivers. First, how far are you gonna be and your spouse be commuting to work? Do you really need something that gets good fuel useage or are you presently driving a fairly short distance and okay with a larger vehicle that gets more standard mileage? Do you have trouble seeing out from large cars and need something with seats that could be raised more than normal?


How about your teenager? Do you want to select a car that’s brand new for an individual that hasn’t been driving very long and contains a higher risk of accident, in addition to higher insurance rates for a new car? Before jumping into making a purchase, these are things you’ll have to take into consideration. A salesman at Nissan Los Angeles dealership Nissan Redlands can help you locate a car that can fit the needs of all your family young, old and members. You can visit their webpage, metronissanredlands.com. Then visit the car lot to talk to someone about your selections for the perfect family car and take one for a test drive today.

Seats For Your Baby Check This Out


Before the special day arrives, you wish to choose the safest, easiest-to-install infant car seat-and through its testing, Consumer Reports has identified the five best.

These models performed well within our new crash tests. Plus, these models also score well for ease-of-use and fit-to-vehicle ratings, thereby increasing your chances of installing and using them correctly.

The newly developed crash test is designed to give a more realistic carlike environment and is conducted at a higher test speed. This test is intended to differentiate those seats that could offer a higher margin of safety in crashes similar to those simulated by our tests. (Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests child car seats.)

Every one of these seats includes features and technologies that help to reduce the motion or crash forces transferred to a baby’s head-by far the most vulnerable spot. But we recognize that high levels of performance in real crashes are also influenced by how well the seat is secured on the vehicle as well as the child towards the seat. The seats below performed well in those areas, too.

Rear-facing-only seats, commonly known as infant seats, are typically the first seat for most parents. They not just provide the best fit for newborns, although the infant seats offer the ease of a detachable carrier for toting little ones around. Each one has a base that gets set up in a vehicle and stays when the carrier gets removed. Not every, can also be installed using the carrier only, but our technicians often learn that results in a less secure installation, although some.

Each one of the seats featured below achieves its higher overall scores through their performance in each of our tests. Full details and ratings can be obtained on their individual model pages.

You Can Know Save Passwords, Car Maintenance By Learning Sous Vide


Maintaining your car doesn’t ought to mean going broke. Today on Amazon, it is possible to stock with 6 quarts of synthetic motor oil for just $36, and you will save 20% on the new DieHard car battery from Sears while you’re at it. And of course, you can still getoffering the Wacom Bamboo Touch and Pen Tablet for $130, which is $30 under the typical street price.

If you’ve ever wanted a faster way to transfer large files on or off your phone, this handy flash drive from Corsair might be just the thing you’re seeking.

Basically, this flash drive features a MicroUSB connector in one end to plug in your Android phone or tablet, while a concealed full-sized USB connector on the other side interfaces along with your PC or Mac, despite the fact that you can get a full product tour in the video below. This could be really useful if you’re on vacation and run out of space for storing on your phone for photos and videos, or if you need to possess a few extra movies for some time plane ride.

Today on Amazon, the 64GB model is marked down to just $45, which is the lowest price we’ve ever seen.

Used Cars That Will Help You Make It To Spring

If you’re like me, you can’t wait until that first day of Spring, that first day you thrust your windows open and let the cool but warming breeze in and the birds chirp and it appears to be you may have made it through the worst of it in fact. But until on that day, there are a lot of cold blues to worry about. So if you’re in the market for a new car, or just want to be, you should think of one of these used car options to survive through the winter doldrums. Prior to the actual calendar flips to March, they are sure to provide you with a little bit of spring. Try one of these simple on for size!

Dodge Challenger


If you are gonna go muscle, you might as well get a Challenger, the King of all modern muscle cars. You don’t have to get a brand new one either, there are going to be plenty of them on the used car market, and you can see them at used cars costa mesa or online at http://mcpeekdodge.com. These puppies pack a punch and will get you feeling like it’s summer 365 days each year. If you want to beat the ice and snow although it is not even having the capacity to drive in the ice and snow, the Challenger is your move, and should not break the bank.

VW Bug Convertible


These matters are both fun to drive, and unique to look at. They may be zippy and easy and peppy on the fuel economy and still have a place to keep some flowers! How about that. And if you’re going to complement a bug, might as well ward off winter’s icy grip with obtaining the convertible version. The Bug convertible offers some extra sensation of summer for the reason that Bug is so summery, though actually, any convertible will help with beating the wintertime away. You ought to easily manage to find one of these on the used car market, so find one, get it, and revel in it. The German engineering that is put into these little road doggies is also going to help you in the future in more ways than one.

Acura RSX


What’s so special about the Acura RSX you might ask? This thing is worth its used car money with first pedal to the medal on the highway. These things kick and jump and are awesome. Not just that, but they are in the Honda family so if properly maintained they may last forever and also, using their front wheel drive power, can handle just a little ice and snow if that’s what Mother Nature throws to you. They have a little engine that will and may, and it’s actually not actually that little. The RSX is a fun car to defeat out the winter doldrums any day of every week.

How Service Disconnect Switches


To paraphrase Spiderman, With great voltage comes great opportunity for frying yourself. For first-responders attending the scene of an accident and for home mechanics alike, the terms Manual Disconnect Switch (MDS) and Service Disconnect Switch (SDS) will become essential. All EVs (and most Hybrids for that matter) provide an easily-identifiable switch that can bepushed and pulled, or thrown to disconnect our prime voltage battery from all the vehicle’s other electrical systems. Fortunately the industry seems to have standardised on bright orange for your high voltage components – both wiring and the disconnect switches. The MDS/SDS is normally located on the battery pack itself.

When You Should Take A Risk In Getting A Used Car


Used Cars… A simple term that has a under positive meaning for most car buyers. Conventional wisdom states that buying a used car is buying someone else’s problems. The risk of buying a late model used car has gone own, as new car quality has gone up. In fact, the automotive industry doesn’t even call them used cars anymore. The term to look for now is Certified Pre-Owned, or CPO.

There is a growing market in this country for used vehicles that have been put through a Certified Pre-Owned program. CPO vehicles give the consumer a chance to buy the latest models, often only two or three years old, at a big savings more than a new car. So, when you get one, you’re really doing yourself a favor, says John Davis, host of MotorWeek, the longest running weekly automotive show on television.

When you look at every one of the checks and balances performed and the extra warranty, it’s easily worth the cost.””, though They may cost a little more than you’d count on paying for a second hand car””

Over a third of most late model used trucks and cars sold last year — nearly 1.2 million vehicles — came with a Certified Pre-Owned designation. They are typically vehicles that have low mileage, and get been put through a battery of tests to make certain they are in tip-good shape. Vehicles that fall into this category are mainly just off-lease, secured from factory executive car auctions, from rental fleets, or the very best trade-ins.

A new car depreciates by 15 to 20 percent the second you drive it off the lot, says Davis. If you pick one that’s Certified Pre-Owned, you avoid taking the initial depreciation, yet have an almost new car with a strong warranty and in many cases a better warranty than a new one. Smart consumers can consider these vehicles as the brightest and best in their class.

Inc., one can expect to pay reasonably limited of between four and seven percent for a vehicle with the Certified Pre-Owned designation, according to CNW Marketing Research. They may cost a little more than you’d expect to pay for a used car, but when you look at all the checks and balances performed as well as the extra warranty, it’s easily worth it, says Davis.

On the list of benefits, not merely some, but all vehicle parts which can be even moderately worn have been replaced. Many Certified Pre-Owned cars include new brakepads and hoses, accessory belts, wipers and batteries. Their transmissions and engines have been overhauled and checked if needed; minor exterior damage — like nicks, dings and tattered trim — is repaired or replaced; carpets and seat upholstery are shampooed or cleaned, and if they appear less than new, are replaced.

Beyond that, certified programs provide additional warranties, often as much as 100,000 miles, and could also include perks like car-club style roadside assistance. These kinds of warranty actually exceeds the coverage offered by the factory when it was new. Certification programs increase consumer confidence about the quality of a pre-owned vehicle,says Scott Weitzman, senior director of retail programs to the noted automotive polster, J.D. Power and Associates.

But, don’t just buy any vehicle that is labeled Certified Pre-Owned. The very best CPO programs are found only at new car dealers, with repair requirements and warranties backed from the factory. Also, ask to view the checklist on the car or truck of your choice so you will know just what has been serviced.

Simply put, buying a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle is really a win-win situation for everyone. Manufacturers make money on vehicles that they had in fleets or on lease, dealers increase their income percentage when compared with new car sales, and customers move on feeling better about a few of the built-in guarantees, says Davis.