Monthly Archives:May 2017

My car insurance was rejected because I work in a bar

31 May 17
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While looking for new car insurance quotes, I looked on the Age UK website to see what prices it had on offer but to my surprise my application was declined.

I then called the insurer to find out why this had happened and I was told it was because of my profession, as a bar steward.

I was outraged by this as I’ve had car insurance for the past 40 years and I’ve never made a claim before or had an accident.

I've had car insurance for 40 years so why am I now being rejected because of my job?

I’ve had car insurance for 40 years so why am I now being rejected because of my job?

Surely the fact I work around alcohol shouldn’t stop me from being able to get car insurance?

I told Age UK this and was put through to another person but again I was told the reason I couldn’t get insurance was because of my job.

While I appreciate insurance is based on risk, I find this disgusting and I immediately made a complaint and contacted the Financial Ombudsman.

I then received a letter from Age UK saying ‘we are pleased you have been able to resolve your complaint the matter is now closed’.

But I hadn’t resolved the complaint and told them this, only for another letter to arrive saying someone was investigating the issue. Therefore I bought insurance with another company and am still waiting for someone from Age UK to get back to me, Anthony Keevan, via email

Rebecca Rutt, of This is Money, replies: The price you pay for insurance, and even whether you are allowed to buy it at all, is all dependent on risk.

If, for example, you have made several claims before you may be given a higher price for a policy or even have your application rejected. 

However in your case I see no reason why you should have been stopped from buying car insurance.

Insurers do consider professions when assessing a person’s risk but this should not lead to you being banned from buying insurance.

If you have a job where there is little risk of you having an accident, such as a librarian who doesn’t have to drive late at night because of their job, the price you pay is likely to be less than if you’re a bouncer, for example.

We got in contact with Age UK and Ageas, the company providing the insurance, to try and find out why it had made the decision to reject your application based on your profession.

After investigating your case, a spokesperson came back to us and said an error had been made.

Age UK says I can't get car insurance because I work in a bar - even though I've never claimed

Age UK says I can’t get car insurance because I work in a bar – even though I’ve never claimed

They said: ‘We’re sorry about the experience Mr Keevan had. We have reviewed his case and confirm that his quote for car insurance was declined due an error in the way he entered his information on the online application form.

‘When Mr Keevan applied for Age UK car insurance online and was prompted to select his occupation from drop down options, he chose ‘bar steward’ at a ‘club’. The next section requests the club type but this was left blank by Mr Keevan and led to his application being declined.

‘Had the ‘social’ club type been selected, which represents Mr Keevan’s correct business area, his application would have been successful.

‘Following Mr Keevan’s complaint, he was contacted by telephone to ask for confirmation of his occupation and industry. Upon receiving the correct information his application has been reviewed and we were able to offer him a quote but regrettably he confirmed he has now found cover elsewhere.’

The spokesperson also confirmed that it wasn’t until your third phone call with Age UK that you were told an error had been made in the application – and that it had not been rejected because of your job, as you’d previously been told.

Your application was not investigated until you had phoned the third time, at which point the insurer realised the error had been because part of the form hadn’t been filled in. 

While it’s good this problem has been sorted, if the first person you had spoken to had looked at your application properly and noticed the mistake, the issue would have been fixed a lot sooner saving you a lot of time and hassle.

It seems instead of you being blacklisted because of your profession, this is more a case of ‘computer says no’ and a failure for the staff at Age UK to realise the problem in the first instance.  





Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Tory amendment could quash energy to produce E Europe sexuality-basic, senator warns

31 May 17
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A Conventional senator who not trust endeavors by way of a now-deceased Liberal MP to really make the national anthem sexuality-basic is advising diverse adjustments for the words of E Europe that could, initially impression, attain a similar thing.

But Frances Lankin, the separate senator who’s the mentor of the statement at a Negative Balance Step, suggests the specific result of the amendment tabled by Don Plett, a Tory senator from Manitoba, should be to eliminate Mauril Bélanger’s regulation and keep the anthem unaffected.

Mr. Bélanger, who died last September of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) after a lot more than 20 years being an MP, caused it to be his last become a politician to draft regulation that could modify the anthem’s terms “in all thy daughters command” to “in many of US command.”

Several Traditional MPs compared the version and, inside the days before Mr. Bélanger died, they declined to offer the unanimous agreement that has been expected Inside Your Home of Commons allowing another MP to shepherd the statement through Parliament in the case of his death.

In the long run, that change of palms wasn’t expected as the statement was approved Inside Your Home while Mr. Bélanger was still living. But, since August of a year ago, it’s languished inside the Senate wherever those that oppose it have was able to delay the last election.

A couple of weeks before, Mr. Plett, who advised his other senators that changing E Europe ‘s words could “be performing a great detriment to your nation” which “a national anthem isn’t supposed to be modified and adjusted regularly,” offered their own change.

Instead of “in many of US control,” Mr. Plett tabled an amendment that could modify the words to “thou dost in us command.” These were the language the anthem’s musician, Judge Robert Stanley Weir, found in a 1908 draft of the track.

When the anthem has to be adjusted to become sexuality-basic, explained Mr. Plett, it will at the least value “the recollection of Judge Weir as well as the strength of his work.”

Ms. Lankin mentioned on Friday that “thou dost in us command” may seem such as a fair selection. “I just like the history language of the anthem,” she mentioned, “and it is a thing that I really could professionally support.”

But, when she looked at what could eventually the statement if it had been changed, she was advised it’d must get back to Your House of Commons where it’d desire a mentor. As well as the Conservatives Inside Your Home have proven they are hesitant to offer the unanimous agreement needed to enable the statement to improve from pair of palms to some other.

Thus Ms. Lankin is notice senators who often see Mr. Plett’s change being a ribbon to convention that defines Mr. Bélanger’s aim, that voting in favor could be the end-of the regulation.

And also when the change is overcome, explained Ms. Lankin, Conventional senators have managed to get apparent they’ll utilize the accessible strategies to stop one last election around the statement.

“My place with this, and lots of different senators recognize, is the fact that it’s not our career inside the Senate to dam ballots on points,” Ms. Lankin said. “Our career, each time a statement concerns us from your Residence of Commons, is always to evaluate it, to deliberate around the statement also to determine – to choose yes or determine zero, but have a vote.”

For his portion, Mr. Plett said he was ignorant that it’d consider unanimous agreement of MPs to really have the statement change arms Inside Your Home of Commons.

“The change was to assist as being a bargain, so that you can ease those that believe that the existing anthem isn’t sexuality-comprehensive,” he explained in a record. “Given the situations, I’ve every purpose to trust the Residence of Commons will allow to get a change in support. To get a senator to declare that I’d specially benefit from the demise of the former associate is disheartening.”

But Catherine Bélanger, Mr. Bélanger’s widow, mentioned it’s apparent that Mr. Plett has identified a “really sneaky way” to eliminate the statement.

Mr. Bélanger “championed this since he considered to incorporate girls. It had been to become allinclusive,” explained Ms. Bélanger. “For him, it had been essential for him to acknowledge everyone inside the country.”

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Nobody region could end weather activity ‘momentum’: McKenna (The Canadian Click)

Support chief requests popularity of gender-strike section guidelines

30 May 17
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Canada’s top gift acknowledged an inside record Tuesday that bound the military for declining a former master corporal whose event produced a attack on sexual misconduct inside the military.

In buying total endorsement of the inner inquiry’s conclusions, Key of Defense Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance also thanked Stephanie Raymond “for obtaining the bravery and determination to spot some problems by her sequence of command” after she noted that she’d been sexually attacked.

“Through a thorough action program coming from your (inquiry’s) guidelines, I’ve purchased the vice chief of the support team, the leader Canadian Military as well as the leader of Military Personnel Control to apply the recommendations when feasible,” Vance mentioned in a record.

In 2012, Raymond charged Warrant Officer Andre Gagnon of sexually attacking her in 2011.

Gagnon was later acquitted by way of a military court, but Raymond extended preventing the military, claiming that she was retaliated against because of this of the problem. The struggle triggered Raymond’s launch from your Causes by the end of 2013.

The table of question was convened in 2015 after former chief of support team Gen. Tom Lawson mentioned that Raymond was handled terribly by higher ranking representatives in her routine which she’d been mistakenly shot.

Vance observed that lots of the inquiry’s guidelines have already been executed through the military’s attempts to press out unacceptable sexual behavior, but purchased that most excellent guidelines from your question record be introduced as easily that you can.

He also identified that Raymond’s circumstance was a switch for your existing plan to crack-down on sexual misconduct inside the military.

“Because of the worries she increased, we’re currently better alert to how huge an effect damaging and unacceptable sexual behavior is wearing our people and we’re using important measures to make certain this sort of circumstance doesn’t reoccur, said Vance.

“Her scenario is one of many explanations why Functioning Honor exists and exactly why I’m thus specialized in its purpose.”

Col. Josee Robidoux, who orders the 35 Canadian Brigade Party, briefed Raymond around the record, which includes not been widely launched.

A DND record explained the record was essential of the navy for how it addressed Raymond, specifically by way of a disappointment to utilize simple authority rules when controling her nuisance issue, as well being a not enough connection along with her through the entire method along with the lack of followup to make certain her well being.

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Very good results in energy to remove sexual misconduct in Canadian Forces: Vance (The Canadian Click)

My friend’s invited me to her BBQ but wants me to pay £30

29 May 17
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In our Money Morals series we invite readers to help solve a dilemma. This time, one reader asks whether he should pay to attend a friend’s summer BBQ in order to avoid an argument. 

Read the question and leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of the article.

Is it better to say nothing and pay for a friend's BBQ or tell them I don't want to pay?

Is it better to say nothing and pay for a friend’s BBQ or tell them I don’t want to pay?

A close friend of mine has invited a group of friends over for a BBQ this summer, but after telling him I could make it, along with my wife and two children, he said we’d need to pay £30 per adult for the food and drinks.

We often host our friends for dinner parties and would never dream of asking them to pay us for it so I feel really offended by the entire thing.

As he rarely hosts, I don’t think he really understands that it’s not okay to ask your guests to pay for their dinner, even if it he is going to have to pay for it all.

We would obviously bring a bottle of wine but I really don’t want to pay £60 for going to a BBQ as for that money we could just go out as a family for a meal at a pub.

On top of that my wife is a vegan so she’s unlikely to be able to eat any of the food they’re providing anyway and we don’t drink much alcohol. 

What is the best approach to this, should I just be honest and tell him I’m not happy paying but would love to come along anyway?

Or should I just pay the money and go along with it to avoid causing an argument with an old friend? 






Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

NDP leadership confident Niki Ashton suggests she’s pregnant, continuous plan

29 May 17
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Manitoba MP Niki Ashton is expecting in December, the NDP leadership positive reported Monday.

Ashton is one-of six prospects seeking the party’s top career — a command contest slated to wrap-up in April, when rank-and-record associates select a heir to Ben Mulcair.

And she’s no programs to slow-down, despite her maternity, she mentioned in a record.

“I’m very happy to discuss the headlines that I’m wanting,” Ashton said.

“Like numerous Canadian females I’ll carry-on could work. This implies continuous to attain out to New Democrats, activists and progressives around the world to create a for cultural, ecological and economic justice for all.”

Ashton stated she plans to see B.C. Along with the Atlantic provinces next fourteen days.

Her opponents inside the contest incorporate Quebec MP Person Caron, Ontario legislature participant Jagmeet Singh, Ontario MP Charlie Angus, former masters ombudsman Pat Stogran and B.C. MP Peter Julian.

All six individuals participated in a controversy Saturday in Sudbury, Ont.

Five different arguments are slated on the next many months: St. John’s, N.L, Saskatoon, Victoria, Montreal and Vancouver.

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NDP leadership candidates indulge in first argument (The Canadian Click)

Thousands face shock as energy bills leap by £430

28 May 17
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  • More than 100k households facing sudden energy bill hike
  • More than a dozen key fixed rate deals come to an end 
  • Customers who do nothing will be shunted into standard variable tariffs 

Energy prices will be thrown back into the political spotlight this week when more than 100,000 households across the UK face a sudden hike in bills of up to £430 a year as their fixed rate deals come to an end.

More than a dozen key fixed price deals from seven leading suppliers are set to end on Wednesday. 

Customers who fail to switch to other deals in time face being moved on to expensive standard variable tariffs.

At the same time the Institute of Directors has called for customers to be given itemised energy bills listing all Government taxes and levies and the energy companies’ profit from each customer.

Shock: More than a dozen key fixed price deals from seven leading suppliers are set to end

Shock: More than a dozen key fixed price deals from seven leading suppliers are set to end

Energy industry sources believe such bills would reveal that profits per household are not excessive.

Customers of EDF Energy could see their annual bills rise by £436 while customers at First Utility could see price rises of £392 and those at ScottishPower could face an increase of up to £373, said price comparison firm uSwitch, which said average increases would be £289 a year. 

Average dual fuel energy bills are about £1,200 annually.

Following sharp increases in standard tariffs from five of the Big Six energy firms which dominate the market, EDF, Npower, SSE, ScottishPower and E.On (British Gas has frozen its prices till August), Prime Minister Theresa May strongly criticised the industry. 

She accused the market of not working, saying prices had increased by 158 per cent over the past 15 years, and in the Tory manifesto promised to intervene.

The Tories have promised to introduce a ‘safeguard tariff cap’ to extend the price protection of those currently on pre-payment meters to those on the poorest deals.

Labour has gone further and promised to create new ‘publicly owned energy provi-

sion’ and cap costs. Former Labour leader Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze energy bills in the run-up to the 2015 General Election saw the party’s support surge.

USwitch energy expert Claire Osborne said: ‘Far-reaching price intervention is a red herring. 

A competitive market in which great savings are easily available will do far more to help energy customers who are paying more than they need to, by keeping the pressure on suppliers to offer the best deal and service possible.’

The Tories have promised a review of the energy market focused on the cost of energy. This was welcomed by suppliers who have long blamed rising wholesale cost and Government policies for rising bills. 

Their grievances have been given a boost by the Institute of Directors’ plan to ‘force energy companies to create a new transparent default tariff’ detailing their bill’s make-up.

Dan Lewis, Senior Infrastructure Adviser at the IoD, said: ‘Energy bills have become the latest political football, with both the Conservatives and Labour reaching for interventionist solutions.’





Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Andrew Scheer attacks a thorough balance with social conservatives

28 May 17
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In Stephen Harper’s closing, frantically managing decades, when some Careful backbenchers wished to produce assertions Inside Your Home assisting the proper your, not merely did the Perfect Minister’s Workplace forbid them, it advised Audio Andrew Scheer he’d no specialist to acknowledge them minus the government’s agreement.

From his couch Inside Your Home of Commons, Mr. Scheer bluntly reported the Audio handled Your House, he could acknowledge whom he decided, which the Tory backbenchers were delightful to state their bit.

That help for cultural conservatives served Mr. Scheer gain the authority of the Conservative Party on Sunday. Currently, he should equally provide and incorporate them.

Party strategists are not any hesitation delighted – as well as their Generous and NDP brethren chagrined – that Mr. Scheer eked out a slender come-from-behind win at Saturday’s authority function over Maxime Bernier. The Quebec MP’s staunch libertarian opinions – breaking a national function in medical care, finishing source supervision, greatly lowering fees – could have been great fodder for your Conservatives’ adversaries.

Mr. Scheer located some challenging procedures inside the screen, too: tax-breaks for parents who ship their youngsters to private-school; vowing that “No free-speech on-campus implies no national grants.”

He likewise opposes carbon fees, could balance the budget in 2 yrs – which the Liberals have delivered successfully difficult – and desires to entrench property rights inside the Rental (all the best with that).

Nevertheless the Halifax coverage convention to become used next year in September could have not as of the concern building a Scheer manifesto politically saleable compared to the heavy-lifting that could have already been expected had Mr. Bernier won.

And Mr. Scheer can neither desire to, or need-to, reject his or her own reasonably “so-con” factor. Enter any cycling inside the massive suburbs outside Toronto and discuss at period to immigrant voters from places who rule a lot of ridings – immigrants from areas including Asia or perhaps the Philippines or perhaps the Middleeast. You usually notice this: Gay marriage offends our beliefs; sex-education goes in the house, not the class; everybody appears to have privileges, but nobody has obligations.

The affable MP from Regina may interest these voters, particularly when they can well communicate the communication that only Conservatives could keep their fees minimal as well as the economy noise.

Nevertheless, Mr. Scheer’s gain scarcely shows a takeover of the occasion from the religious right. Around the 11th poll, Wednesday evening, when 14 prospects was concentrated to four, the societal-conservatives’ winner, Saskatoon MP Brad Trost, put last, with 14% of the election. The so-disadvantages really are a voice inside the Conservative Party, but certainly not the principal style.

And the ones around the gradual-conventional end-of the array must be assuaged by Mr. Scheer’s election to get rid of Conventional resistance to samesex union eventually year’s plan meeting. He’s likewise assured no legal activity around the directly to an abortion. Although he blocks the rights of gun-owners, he gives nothing significant on increasing these privileges.

Now, Mr. Scheer attacks a thorough balance of pleasing cultural conservatives inside the tent without pandering for them. For almost any conventional political head, that’s an excellent spot to be.

He’s different rewards: tougher caucus help than Mr. Bernier appreciated, childhood – he’s simply 38, although one thinks Mr. Scheer continues to be middleaged because he was 16 – plus a regular, helpful, continually smiling personality that produces him tough never to like.

Furthermore, as Audio of Your Home over the past Harper authorities, Mr. Scheer is unburdened from the suitcase of the scandals and claims of autocracy that could have dogged former cabinet ministers. Liberals won’t manage to declare: “Andrew Scheer reinforced …” or “Andrew Scheer elected for ….”

This is simply not to decrease the difficulties ahead. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government remain preferred. Higher than a dimpled look will soon be had a need to move the voters’ assurance.

But all-in-all, the Conservative Party is in greater condition to battle that obstacle than several could have considered per year-and-a-half before.

You understand anything? That is planning to be entertaining to view.

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Andrew Scheer takes digs at Justin Trudeau in success presentation (The Canadian Click)

Save hundreds on household bills – by remote control

27 May 17
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There was a time when a remote control was only used for flicking through TV channels. 

But these days – often via a mobile phone – it can control your entire home and help shave hundreds of pounds a year off the household bills.

Here, The Mail on Sunday picks through the high-tech maze to explore some of the ways you can make savings, looking at everything from entertainment to energy – and even feeding the cat.

Well connected: Adam Davison, with wife Laura and daughters Lily and Ella, front, have a raft of cost-saving gadgets in their home

Well connected: Adam Davison, with wife Laura and daughters Lily and Ella, front, have a raft of cost-saving gadgets in their home

Reduce your energy bills 

Every home in Britain is to have a ‘smart meter’ installed for free by 2020 as part of a Government campaign to get us to save energy. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by changing our habits it is possible to knock 15 per cent off your energy bill. The average house pays £1,345 a year – so it can lead to a saving of £200.

Fortunately, the technology is already out there to cut costs with the help of a remote control that operates ‘smart’ light bulbs, energy-saving electric sockets and individual thermostats.

Internet technology director Adam Davison, 42, invested £2,000 in cost-saving gadgets five years ago and says they have already paid for themselves – slashing £400 a year from his energy bill.

Adam, married to Laura, 37, with whom he has two children Ella, 11, and eight-year-old Lily, has fitted 60 remote-controlled light switches and power sockets from LightwaveRF, which cost from £35 each. He has also installed £59 Tado radiator thermostats and £15 Philips Hue light bulbs, both of which can be monitored and controlled through a phone app even when out of the house.

He says: ‘At last the technology has caught up with an energy saving lifestyle. You can set the sockets so they turn off at night when everyone is asleep – so you no longer unnecessarily use up energy when gadgets are on standby. You can also avoid heating rooms when there is no one in them. You can control the settings remotely from your smartphone – even if you are abroad on holiday.’

Other devices to help you keep energy costs down include a Nest Thermostat, which sells a touch sensitive £200 wall monitor that can be controlled manually or remotely via a smartphone app – to control hot water and the central heating. There are also software packages such as Apple Home Kit that can link controls – including lighting and heating – to be managed on a phone.

Enjoy more music around the home 

Streaming is the most popular way to enjoy music – with 45 billion tunes listened to over the internet in Britain every year.

The technology not only gives you access to more music than you will find in your record or CD collection at home but can work out cheaper.

For the £10 cost of buying an album you gain access to millions of tracks a month if you sign up to an online music subscription service. Providers worth considering include Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster and Tidal.

While these companies often offer free trials or basic streaming that includes occasional adverts for nothing, a paid-for service will also enable you to download tracks to enjoy listening to later offline.

Because the music is accessed over the internet you need speeds of at least one megabit per second – fibre optics rather than telephone wires offer faster speeds and are better for homes where more than one person might want to enjoy music at the same time.

By hooking up your streaming facility with wi-fi you can broadcast tunes into any room you want around the house and use your mobile phone as the music remote control.

This requires speakers that are connected – wirelessly or not – to an amp. You can buy speakers with built-in amplifiers for under £100 but if you invest more then the quality of sound and number of rooms that can enjoy music is expanded.

Ion Smith, co-founder of home cinema installation firm Cyberhomes in Thame, Oxfordshire, believes systems can transform the home.

He says: ‘Only your imagination needs hold you back. The best time to install a music system for the entire home is often when you are doing renovations as this enables any unsightly wires to be hidden away out of view. Consider hiring a consultant to discuss what you want because at the same time you can also look at home cinema, heating, lighting controls and security systems.’

He suggests using a member of the trade body Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, whose members sign up to a high standard of service and care for its customers.

Pamper your pets…by remote control 

Pet lovers occasionally find it hard to give their cat or dog the attention they deserve – and are forced to pay others to keep an eye on them.

But new remote control gadgets now allow you to watch your pet from a smartphone when it is at home – so you can talk, feed and even play with it.

The £140 Petcube is a box that sits in your property and enables you to observe and speak to your pet when you are out and about, using a smartphone app.

Kit for cats: Keeba Roy can play with her cat Harry remotely via an app

Kit for cats: Keeba Roy can play with her cat Harry remotely via an app

It also has a remote-controlled laser beam you can control by moving your finger on the phone screen to bring up a light in your home that moves around on the wall or floor – and cats can chase in a game.

Assistant arts editor Keeba Roy, 29, of Greenwich, South East London, shares a flat with boyfriend Ben, 28, and their cats Max and Harry.

Keeba says: ‘It is great to have a camera to keep an eye on them. At Christmas time I was watching and saw that the tree had got knocked down so knew they were up to no good.’

She adds: ‘They both love playing with the laser but if you try talking to them it can be a bit of a shock – we drew the line at buying a model that feeds the cats as well because they get greedy.’

Other devices to keep an eye on the pet include a £250 Furbo that has a camera and also throws out snacks. A £140 programmable feeder from PetSafe puts the pet food out at a certain time.

Lower insurance with home security 

There is a growing number of security devices that monitor what is going on inside the home that complement traditional burglar alarms.

They are unobtrusive devices about the size of a handheld camera and sit in prime spots around the home, such as a kitchen.

If they spot anything out of the ordinary going on in the house a text alert is sent to your mobile. You then have the option to set off a noisy alarm back in the house to hopefully frighten off any potential intruders.

By adding a layer of security these devices can also cut the cost of building and contents insurance. The average cost of buildings and contents cover is £291, according to the Association of British Insurers. A burglar alarm can cut premiums by 10 per cent.

Among the devices on the market is the £159 Cocoon. It picks up low-level sound waves and notifies you through an alarm sent to your smartphone if it hears something out of the ordinary. The device only operates when you are out of the home and quickly learns to ignore the usual movements, such as a pet walking around.

Other security devices that can help keep insurance premiums down by linking a home camera to a smartphone include the £200 D-Link Omna 180; the £160 Canary; and the £159 Nest Cam Indoor. All these cameras can be set up to record unusual movement and include night vision.

Plug a leak to save money 

A dripping tap might not look like an emergency, but if not dealt with it can cause costly damage to the home. According to the Association of British Insurers, the industry pays out £2.5 million a day on water damage claims. A burst pipe causes on average £2,700 of damage – wrecking floors and carpets, damaging walls and destroying favourite furniture. Often the first tell-tale signs you have a problem is the sound of dripping water – and fixing it early can mean you do not suffer a burst pipe.

Devices such as the £149 LeakBot keep an eye on your entire plumbing system and if a leak is spotted will alert you via a text message. The device is clipped on to a water pipe situated by your mains stop tap – usually under a kitchen sink.

Remote apps can also be used to look out for emergencies such as fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Companies such as Roost sell a £25 smart battery that can be fitted into existing smoke or carbon dioxide alarms. It can send a text to your phone if the alarm goes off.

How to stay switched on to the TV revolution: Get a greater choice of free TV 

We are no longer stuck with a handful of terrestrial television options – but can get access to hundreds of free channels over the radio waves, cables and the internet.

You can join this revolution by investing as little as £20 for a set-top box that will give you more than 100 channels offered through Freeview. You plug a cable into your old TV aerial socket and the other end into the back of your television. On top of the usual channels – such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – you get a host of others including Dave and Pick TV.

Alternatively, you might want to take advantage of Freesat if you have a satellite dish on the side of your house. Boxes cost from about £80 but will give you access to more than 200 channels and you do not need to pay for a subscription.

'Be future ready': Ion Smith of Cyberhomes and, top, Netflix show The Crown

‘Be future ready’: Ion Smith of Cyberhomes and, top, Netflix show The Crown

Each TV usually needs its own set-top box but if you buy a modern TV you may find it already has Freeview or Freesat technology inside the set. Viewers still pay £147 a year for a TV licence – although if aged over 75 you can enjoy TV for free. Multi-room systems can be set up with a single set-top box or DVD player serving several screens. There is also a host of streaming services that let you watch TV over the internet. Providers such as Netflix charge from £5.99 a month for access to thousands of shows. If you want to watch using more than one TV you pay £8.99 for a ‘premium’ service. Each TV needs to be plugged into the internet.

Amazon Prime TV starts from £7.99 a month and also gives subscribers access to its next-day postal service and access to its streamed music.

If you want access to Sky and its hundreds of channels subscriptions start from £22 a month. This includes a box on which you can record shows.

A set-top box usually only works for one TV but if you want a ‘multi-room’ deal, Sky charges from £32 a month, including required extra boxes.

Anyone wanting to watch TV in several rooms and perhaps include a surround sound system to give the feeling of being in a cinema, should consider using a professional installer to ensure that no unsightly cables are left lying around the home.

Ion Smith, of Cyberhomes, says: ‘Be future ready. For example, the latest technology is 4k – ultra-high definition TV. Make sure any wiring is ready for this as in a few years it could be the norm.’

Cut the cost of your weekly shop with the help of a virtual butler

One of the must-have gadgets of the moment is a virtual personal assistant.

Companies such as Amazon are keen to promote the charms of a female-sounding butler called Alexa who can link up to a smartphone app.

Back to the future: Companies such as Amazon are keen to promote the charms of a female-sounding butler called Alexa

Back to the future: Companies such as Amazon are keen to promote the charms of a female-sounding butler called Alexa

The robot can answer verbal queries by searching for answers online and then telling you what she has found out.

Among the more useful tasks are recording shopping lists, booking tickets, playing tunes and remembering birthdays.

By helping you be more organised she might save you money and time. The average family spends more than £85 a week on groceries and if you plan ahead with a list, it targets your needs and helps you avoid impulse purchases that can easily add £20 to a weekly bill.

Alexa requires a £150 Echo console, pictured right, that sits at home wherever the family spends most of its time.

This device is connected to the internet via wi-fi and has a speaker for talking. You can also connect to Alexa via a smartphone app.The main competition is the £129 Google Home, below, that has similar skills.

She may look more attractive than Alexa – resembling a modern vase rather than a cylinder – but does not have a name. Other voice-activated software includes Siri from Apple that works on a smartphone.

Facebook launched its own ‘M’ virtual assistant in the US last month on its Messenger service – with a UK version expected out later this summer.





Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Trudeau, Trump chat Europe-U.S. business differences on sidelines of G7

27 May 17
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yanked aside Donaldtrump in the G7 summit on Wednesday to click him on bilateral trade conflicts threatening Canada’s material, timber and aerospace companies.

Mr. Trudeau applied a lull around the closing morning of the peak to get a 30-instant conversation with all the U.S. Leader – a rare possibility to extend his head about improving business worries.

Fresh study gives raise to Bernier, but Conservatives experience extensive issues

26 May 17
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Maxime Bernier is entering the last stretch of the Conventional leadership contest because the hottest applicant among Canadian voters, even though the Conservatives proceed to insulate behind the ruling Liberals around the important concerns of the economy and Canada-U.S. associations, a ballot has identified.

A Nanos Investigation review done For Your World and Email offers a raise to Mr. Bernier, the long time MP who’s viewed as leading-athlete going into Wednesday night’s crowning of the newest Conservative leader. He’s lifted essentially the most income among all prospects and acquired the validation of Kevin O’Leary, a tv persona and entrepreneur who was simply viewed as a prime challenger till he slipped out-last month.