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Fergus will be back on the John Beattie Show on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday just after the 1pm news with some great tips to help organise your money and understand your consumer rights. This week he'll be looking at the best way to spring clean your finances at the beginning of a new tax year. Catch up on previous shows here

Moneysucks for musicians

Have a look at the first part of our new series on how musicians can best maximise and protect their income from their own words and music.

Have you ensured you’re insured?

Insurers and other consumer groups are warning motorists that it is a legal requirement to ensure that your car is insured and that the insurance you have is appropriate for the car and its drivers, and is kept up to date at all times.

sounds like teaching your granny to suck eggs but you’d be amazed at the statistics showing the number of drivers you regularly drive without the correct insurance, or even without any insurance at all.

It’s really important to keep on top of your car insurance. Check the expiry date of your insurance and make sue that you renew it in plenty of time, and if you have changed cars during the year, or you want to change the people authorised to drive your car then you need to make sure that your insurer is kept up to date with this information as well. They will also want to know if you change your occupation.

Different occupations carry different levels of risk according to insurers and if you move into a higher risk job then you might find your premium increasing.

You also have to be aware of the fact that not all insurers will cover theft of your car if they believe that your negligence may have contributed to the theft. So if, for example, you fill your car with petrol and go in to pay but leave your keys in the ignition, or even just leave the door unlocked and have your keys in your pocket, then you mind find that any subsequent claim made if your car is stolen while you are paying could be declined. Likewise wallets or purses left in plain sight on the back seat might not be covered if the car is broken into.

I have also seen a few situations recently where insurers have declined claims because previous accidents, penalty points or claims hadn’t been properly notified to them when the policy was taken out.

We all have a duty of disclosure to our insurers and that means that we need to make them aware of all material facts, even if we don’t think that they are particularly relevant. So always err on the side of caution and mentions past incidents to your insurer, even if you don’t necessarily think that they asked for them.

Better safe than sorry.

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It looks as if the Financial conduct Authority might be about to take action to help so-called 'mortgage prisoners', borrowers who have loans with companies that are no longer trading.
60 Second Tips

In a brand new series listen to and watch Fergus Muirhead here as he explains common money and consumer issues in less than one minute.
This series will build up over the next few months into a valuable library of money and consumer tips, all delivered in a simple and straightforward way.

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