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Protection for Online Shoppers

Over 10 million Australians made an online purchase during 2012, according to research from eMarketer.com. Consumers throughout the world are drawn to ecommerce shops, auction sites, and daily deals websites for the convenience, savings, and novelty that they provide. Yet despite this convenience, there is the unfortunate potential of identity theft and scams. Before parting with your hard earned money, it’s worth taking a closer look at each website to ensure that it has proper security measures put into place. Another way to protect yourself when shopping online is to consider taking out protective insurance.

Shopping from Reputable Websites

One of the most common types of scams that can strike online shoppers is identity theft or credit card fraud. If a stranger gets hold of your credit card details, they can cause damage quickly. There are a couple of ways to combat this. One way is to only sign up for apps from reputable websites like Quicksales.com.au, and shop on well-known websites. The best auction sites like Quicksales will have strong anti-scamming and security features put into place. Shopping on heavily advertised websites like Quicksales or eBay is one way to protect your personal information and avoid being scammed.

Types of Credit Card Fraud Insurance

Another option is to take out insurance specifically designed to protect you from credit card fraud. One type of insurance is a Zero Liability Guarantee, which means that you won’t be held liable should any unauthorised transactions take place using your card. When you take out this type of insurance with your credit card company, you’ll usually need to agree to report your stolen card details as soon as possible. If you don’t report unauthorised transactions within the agreed upon time frame, you may lose your protection.

Rather than choose a credit card with a Zero Liability Guarantee, you can also look for Secure Identity insurance which allows you to cancel affected cards, arrange for replacements, and help you with police claims. If your identity is stolen, Identity Theft insurance can help you with a cash advance for emergencies and may cover the cost of replacing stolen items. Secure Sentinel is one Australian insurance company that offers this type of insurance.

If you’ve purchased an item online that comes with an Australian warranty, you may be able to extend this policy using extended warranty insurance. This is useful when purchasing electronic items in particular. Finally, purchase protection insurance covers online purchases against loss, damage, or theft, provided you use a credit card for your purchase.

General Protection Tips

In addition to considering taking out this type of insurance, you’ll want to stay on top of any use of your credit cards. Check with your credit card company to see if they offer any shopper protection insurance. Shopping on reputable sites and checking your credit card statement regularly is the best way to prevent these damages.


Insurance Options for Small Business Owners

With the array of tools available to start-up businesses, more and more individuals are choosing to take the plunge and become entrepreneurs. Whether you’re thinking about starting your own small business or have already begun building it, there are a few practical issues to think about along the way. From creating a website to determining tax liability, a solid plan is needed as you grow your small business from the ground up. One of the first things to think about is business insurance, including how and when you will need it.

When is Insurance Needed?

Before choosing your business’s insurance policy, you’ll need to think about your business and its needs. The requirements will vary quite a bit between small businesses, depending on the type of services you offer, where you offer them, and whether or not you have employees. If you’ve just created an ecommerce website using web development Australia services, you may not need any insurance just yet. Many start-ups are run from home, and your regular home and contents insurance may be enough provided you haven’t purchased new equipment or started seeing clients on the premises. Yet when the business starts to grow beyond this step and clients or employees are involved, it’s time to start looking into your insurance options more carefully.

Assets and Revenue Insurance

One of the most basic types of insurance for small businesses owners is assets and revenue insurance. This is designed to protect your business assets and livelihood. Compulsory insurance may be needed if you have any motor vehicles used for business purposes, as well as compulsory third party injury insurance if you deal with customers in your car or office. You may also want to choose an insurance plan that covers burglary, building and contents protection, and natural disasters. Some will choose to take out insurance that covers the cost of business interruption or loss of profits, should your business be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.

People Insurance

A second type of insurance for small business owners to consider covers the wellbeing of both you and your employees in case of accidents or illness. This will protect you against compensation claims stemming from accidents, including workers compensation and personal accident and illness insurance policies. This is particularly recommended if you are self-employed, because you won’t be covered by any other employer’s policies for accidents or illness. Personal life insurance may also be a good idea.

Liability Insurance

Finally, you may be liable for any injury to third parties that take place on your property. This helps protect you if you are sued for negligence due to a malfunctioning product or accident in your business. Professional indemnity insurance also protects you if your client suffers any losses due to your business errors.

Whether you run a simple web design Australia business from home, or have just opened a franchise with a dozen employees, these are all a few insurance options to consider. Small business owners must think about many of the same issues that larger businesses must also consider. It’s worth comparing your options carefully, and looking for insurance packages that cover all of these different issues pertaining to your circumstances.


Who Could Benefit from Mortgage Insurance?

Private mortgage insurance is a policy that is taken out to assure lenders that they will receive their payments should the borrower default on a loan. This type of policy is different from life insurance taken out on the mortgage, because it leaves the borrower no benefit should they become unable to pay the mortgage due to disability or death. On the surface, it seems that mortgage insurance is primarily beneficial to the lender, because it is designed for his or her protection. Yet there are advantages to both parties in certain circumstances, allowing borrowers to purchase a home with a lower down payment. Before perusing real estate listings on sites like homesales, it’s helpful to take a closer look at this type of insurance plan to see how it works and who benefits.

How Mortgage Insurance Protects Lenders

The most obvious benefit of mortgage insurance is for the lenders. This insurance policy helps ensure that if the borrower ends up not defaulting on the loan, that the lender will still get their money back. In Australia, mortgage insurance is payable if the LTV or loan-to-value ratio is above 80%. It may also be applicable when this ratio is at 60% for low-doc loans which are given to individuals who are self-employed or otherwise unable to prove income with the usual documents. Premiums can be determined using a sliding scale depending on the initial loan amount and this ratio. There may also be an additional stamp duty on the premium.

The specific rates for mortgage insurance can vary quite a bit, with the lenders determining which factors are most important. These could include the type of premium, the property’s total value, the value of the down payment, and the borrower’s credit history. Using these factors, lenders are able to determine risk and set the rates that will protect their investment.

Advantages of Mortgage Insurance for Borrowers

In most cases, you need to save for years to amass enough money to buy real estate. Down payments are generally at least 20% of the full purchase price of a home. Yet taking out mortgage insurance may help entice a lender to agree to a lower down payment, so that you don’t have to wait as long to save up this money. Mortgage insurance can allow you to qualify with a lower down payment. Once you have paid off at least 20% of your balance, you may be eligible to cancel your mortgage insurance. This may be done automatically or you might have to specifically request cancellation.

It’s also possible in some cases to add the cost of the insurance along with the mortgage loan, to avoid extra closing costs. Usually, the first year of insurance will be due as part of your closing costs. Yet you may be able to negotiate with the lender to pay these on a monthly basis instead.

For borrowers to benefit from mortgage insurance, it’s vital to read all of the fine print and regulations of the insurance policy. You may ultimately not have too much choice when it comes to this mandatory insurance if you wish to buy a house with a low down payment. Yet understanding the terms and conditions will help you make the most of your payments, for maximum benefit.

In the end, there are potential benefits for both parties involved. It’s important to take mortgage insurance into account when you are looking at real estate, as it may factor into your closing costs and ultimate monthly mortgage fees. This will ultimately depend on the down payment and lender requirements.