Practice Index Approved Supplier

Locum Insurance,

  • The Annual Allowance, set by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is the maximum amount of pension savings you can receive tax relief on each year. HMRC reduced the Annual Allowance from £255,000 to £50,000 from 6 April 2011, with the result that the total tax-free growth in the value of your NHS benefits and other pension arrangements you may have is capped at £50,000.

    If the growth in your pension savings is more than the Annual Allowance then a tax charge may be payable on the amount over £50,000. This is the Annual Allowance charge.

  • Approachable Finance have recently acquired and moved into a new office – we are now situated on the main street of Cross Hills making it easier than ever to see our clients current and new.

    Our new address is: 24 Main Street, Cross Hills BD20 8TF

    If you are familiar with the Cross Hills area, then you probably have heard of the very succussful florist, Anne Russell, after 20 years of running the shop she decided it was time to retire and spend more time with family. We bought the shop from her and set about renovating the space into a modern and spacious office. 

    The former florist looks different now as we opened the space by knocking down the middle supporting wall and blocked up the door behind The first picture below was taken before Christmas and the building needed time to 'settle' as the wall had probably been there for over 100 years! 

  • This has year has probably shown the highest rates of volatility in investments we have seen for the last 10 years. Volatility is the ‘degree of a trading price series as measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns’ which translated into ‘Yorkshire’ is how much your investments go up and down! Many existing clients are obviously concerned about the effects of Brexit next year however the markets this year have largely been affected by US companies (especially the technology companies) and the ‘bond’ market.

  • NHS England currently provides practices with basic cover for GP’s that are off sick. If a GP is away from the practice due to illness for more than two weeks and the practice provides invoices showing the cost of cover for him/her, these costs should be met by the NHS.

  • I read an article the other day that said that 77% of British adults have no idea of the new Isa rules that came into effect in July 2014.

    The changes were supposed to make ISA's more attractive to investors and simpler however there is a general feeling that the changes have not been explained well enough. Perhaps the radical changes in pensions and the Lamborghini effect has played its part in distracting us!

    Here is a summary of what has changed:

      •     New ISA annual allowance- the ISA allowance (the amount you can invest each tax year) has risen to £15,240.

      • Improved flexibility- historically there were restrictions on how you could split your allowance between Cash ISAs and Stocks & Shares ISAs. Now you can split your allowance as you choose.

      • New death benefits- investments are normally subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) of 40%, if the total value of your estate exceeds the 'nil-rate band'. This is currently £325,000 for individuals, or up to £650,000 if you inherit your spouse's or civil partner's unused allowance. Changes announced in the Autumn statement mean that surviving spouse's will have an additional ISA allowance, equal to the amount the deceased spouse had in their ISA.

      • Improved transfer options- you can now transfer from a Stocks & Shares ISA to a Cash ISA, and vice versa. Under previous rules you could only transfer from a Cash ISA to a Stocks & Shares ISA. This removes one of the biggest barriers to transferring Cash ISAs to Stocks & Shares ISAs - that you couldn't transfer back again. With interest rates remaining at historic lows, we are seeing increased interest from investors who are happy with the risks and are looking to transfer their Cash ISAs to Stocks & Shares ISAs

      • Earn tax-free interest in Stocks & Shares ISAs- you have always been able to hold cash in a Stocks & Shares ISA, but interest was, in effect, paid net of basic rate tax. Under the new rules interest on cash in a Stocks & Shares ISA is paid gross and is completely tax-free.    Cash ISAs remain unchanged.


    If you are interested in making the most out of this new flexibility please do not hesitate on give us a call.


    Chris Dixon Dip PFS

    Director.

  • Often when people get married the thought of saving for a home is not far behind. As both an Independent Mortgage Broker and a Financial Advisor I am often asked about the best way to save for a new home and deposit. The government has just announced the launch of the ‘Help to Buy ISA’. This means that the government will boss your savings by 25% so for every £200 you save you will receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum amount of bonus you can receive is £3000. The ISA’s are available to each first time buyer so if you are planning to buy with your partner you could receive a government bonus of up to £6000 towards your first home! To kick start your savings you can save up to £1200 in your first month and then up to £200 per month after that.

  • It is that time of year when we meet up with our families, over eat and catch- up with relatives who, perhaps, we only see once a year. As a Financial Advisor, one of the things I ask people is what is most important to them and eventually, after mentioning their car or their I Phone, I get the answer that it is their loved ones, of course! However, interestingly, our families and our dependents, generally, are the very areas of our lives that we insure least! The health and the financial well-being of one’s family cannot be overstated yet the truth is that many of us are more willing to insure our pets, our cars, our  possessions and even  the’ Sky ‘satellite dish instead of spending a few pounds a month on a Life, Critical Illness or on an Income Protection Plan.

  • We are now offering clients the ability to spread the costs of their insurance payments and locum insurance with Premium Credit Limited (http://www.premium-credit.co.uk).

    For25 years Premium Credit Limited has helped businesses and individuals pay for their insurance by spreading the costs over regular instalments, instead of paying the whole premium upfront.

    Premium Credit Limited doesn’t just help businesses and individuals spread the cost of their insurance premiums, they also provide the finance to pay annual fees such as professional fees, membership subscriptions, commercial service charges and school fees. Premium Credit Limited has 2 million customers and has achieved advances of £3.7 billion in 2013, processing 25 million Direct Debits.

    We are delighted therefore to work with the No.1 Insurance Premium Finance Company in the UK and Ireland.

    Chris Dixon BSc (Hons) Dip PFS

    Director Approachable Finance (Medical)

  • Imagine you have just been offered a great premium for your practice's group locum and you are just about to switch providers . Just before you do you notice something in the small print called a 'pre-existing condition clause'. Most companies now cover themselves with a pre-existing condition clause. This usually means that regardless of who is covered if they have been off work for 5-10 days (varies on provider) for a 'pre-existing condition' then they are not covered for a set period of time.

    Now initially this doesn’t seem too bad (depending on time scales) but then let’s consider that recently a competitor has released a policy with a THREE year pre-existing condition clause! However what if you have a bunch of really healthy Doctors and Professionals who haven't been off for the last 3 years? What does it matter then? Well it does, and it’s something I call the pre-existing 'spin cycle'. Let me ask a question, who are the most expensive people to cover for?  I believe it is the individuals who are off with a recurring condition. This could be stress, back or even something like a trapped nerve. Those pesky reoccurring illness's that just won’t go away and makes it challenging for a practice manager to cover as you never know when they are going to strike! To illustrate my point let’s look at this example:

  • Top 5 things to look for in a good Locum Insurance policy

    1.) Premium.

    I thought I would put the most obvious one first! Yes it is important to have a competitive premium but this should not be at the expense of the quality of cover especially as there are some policies out there we would NOT recommend as an independent advice company. The best way to find out if your premium is competitive is to get several premiums from different companies or go to an Independent Financial Advisor like ourselves.

  • Having worked with practice managers for nearly 9 years in reducing insurance costs I have to admit that I am not envious of the challenges they face running or managing a modern medical practice. I am fortunate to have a good relationship with many who explain to me the different challenges they face, often to meet their budgets in an organisation where the 'goal-posts' are forever changing. One wonders whether this profession is becoming specialist in its own right and I wonder how long it will be before a University recognises this and creates a degree around the vocation?

    However the downside of paddling furiously in any organisation is often things that 'roll over' for another year are often the 'small fish' to slip through the net and this is where as a financial professional I am concerned. More often or not a review of Surgery and Locum Insurance is seen as a low priority. Often passed to a part time member of staff or a deputy in a wish to clear desks for the most important areas. However in my opinion this results in false economy for the practice and ultimately the patients.