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Fingers burned over insurance

Burning house
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 17th March 2012 at 1204 GMT On Radio 4 and Online

If your home was destroyed by a fire that wasn't your fault and you didn't have buildings insurance, is there any way you can recoup the cost of rebuilding it?

The latest figures available suggest more than a million homeowners may not have cover if the worst was to happen to their home.

Paul Lewis meets Violet, her thatched cottage was not insured when it was destroyed by a fire.

Paul also speaks to Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers and Laura Checkley, property litigation solicitor at Pemberton Greenish.

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Child Benefit changes

Will better off families lose their child benefit?

After months of wrangling that question will finally be settled when the Chancellor George Osborne delivers his budget on Wednesday.

As it stands, from January next year any parent earning more than 42,475 is set to lose out. But the Government is under considerable pressure - not least from within its own ranks - to rethink its plans.

Paul Lewis hears from listener Keith Riley whose family is set to lose its child benefit.

He's also joined in the studio by Lindsey Judge, senior policy officer with the Child Poverty Action Group, as well as the deputy director of Demos, Claudia Wood.

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Where to keep your valuables?

Under the bed or stashed at the back of a wardrobe? That's a question for Moneybox this week as Britain's main high street banks scale down and in some cases completely withdraw their safe deposit box service.

We hear from a listener from Devon whose bank is relocating his safe deposit box to Scotland. He's frustrated that he will no longer have instant access to his valuables and is concerned about their safety when they are ferried up and down the motorway.

And we have a report from BBC Asian Network reporter Catrin Nye who has been assessing the impact of the demise of bank safe deposit boxes on the Asian community.


Scary letter on the doormat

What should you do if an urgent, official-looking letter addressed to a previous resident drops through your door? Especially one that's threatening the bailiffs.

Should you return to sender - or open it and deal with the consequences?

Paul Lewis speaks to one Moneybox listener who faced that dilemma and gets advice from Susan Marks from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 GMT.



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