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Journeys : Jun Jul 2011
Insurance matters From RACT Insurance CEO Trent Sayers We see our home as a safe haven, but ever y winter RACT Insurance deals with partial or even total losses of homes in fires. Last year we helped over 130 customers recover from damage caused by fire, w ith claims ranging anywhere from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our data shows more claims for fire-related damage are lodged in the winter months between June and August – in 2010 it amounted to nearly $2.5 million. So please be vigilant around kitchens and fireplaces where fires can easily occur. Be aware too that homes have many more appliances that require power. Over-loading power points with too many adaptors and power boards can be dangerous. We have experienced scenarios where faulty or over-loaded electrical circuits heat up enough to cause a fire. Our experience identifies that fires starting in the kitchen remain the main cause of fire in the home. This is followed by faulty electrical fittings, appliances, fireplaces and wood heaters. Sometimes the causes of fires that result in a total loss of a house can be something as simple as leaving the stove unattended to answer a phone call. Our claims data also shows that you need to be careful w ith microwave ovens. Most incidents involving microwaves involve the use of non-microwave safe material in a microwave, and leaving the microwave on for too long. Sparks and wood falling from wood heaters are another common source of fires. Place a metal mesh fireguard in front of open fires and keep the door to wood heaters closed to protect against flying sparks and embers. It’s also a good idea to clean your chimney or f lue and check it at least once a year. Then of course, there are fires caused by incorrectly-discarded cigarettes. Many fires have been started from a cigarette falling onto fur niture, bedding and other flammable materials. A fire escape plan is imperative – take the time to develop, review and practise a fire escape plan with your family. Make sure that windows, doors, security grills and screens can be opened quickly and easily from the inside by any member of your family. The Tasmania Fire Ser vice provides some useful tips regarding fire safety at home on their website www.fire.tas.gov.au. Please be vigilant and safe this winter – but if the worst should happen, remember that RACT Insurance will be there to help. Home equity or car loan? Would you take out a 30 year car loan? That is what you may be doing if you take out a home equity loan to finance your next car. Extending your mortgage through the use of a home equity loan is a popular way to obtain finance for car purchases, but there are reasons why this option may not be the most effective way to finance your car. One important thing to remember is that unlike a home, a car is a depreciating asset. The moment you dr ive your new vehicle away from where you purchased it, its value has already started to decrease. With this in mind, you want to ensure that you don’t take 10, 15 or even 30 years to pay off a car that you may wish to sell in five years. It’s better to plan to pay off the loan in accordance with how long you expect to own the car. That way, you can build up some equity in your vehicle before you decide to purchase something else. You should consider compar ing an R ACT Car Loan with a home equity loan before you decide on how to finance your car. The advantage of an RACT Car Loan is that funds are repaid within a maximum seven- year term instead of anything up to 30 years. If you don’t have the discipline to make full car loan repayments on top of your current mortgage repayments, a longer repayment term may result in a considerably higher interest expense. For information on RACT Car Loans, call 13 27 22. Life on the move June / July 2011 39 To apply call RACT on 13 27 22, drop into your local branch or visit www.ract.com.au Terms and conditions, including fees & charges apply. Full details of this offer are available on application. B&E Ltd. ABN 32 087 652 088 AFS licence No. 236870 RACT has partnered with Tasmanian financial institution B&E Personal Banking to deliver you a great home loan deal. As an RACT member you will pay no application fee on any B&E home loan, saving you up to $650! So let RACT and B&E help you get a home loan that really rewards you... let’s get together. Home loans that really reward you Home Loan application fee
Apr May 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011