The Money Shot – March 9th 2012

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando


Chocolate teapots. Glass hammers. iPod headphones. Andy Carroll. All things which can safely be described as ‘pretty much useless’, and in the latter case, massively expensive too.

Payment protection insurance – for many people who have been mis-sold it, at any rate – can be added to this less than illustrious list. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a form of insurance which will help pay a credit card or loan if the borrower’s ability to pay it is compromised, perhaps if they’re made redundant , fall ill or get injured. No bad thing, in theory, particularly with the rather volatile state of the world economy.

Thing is, even though millions of people have been sold it, for many – including the self-employed, the long-term sick, the retired and the unemployed – it was about as much good as the aforementioned confection beverage receptacle.

What’s more, high-pressure sales tactics and underhanded tricks meant that plenty of hapless folk were bamboozled into buying it. Now, lenders who’ve been found to be guilty of misspelling PPI have been instructed by the Financial Services Authority to jolly well atone for their actions, and are having to write letters to millions of customers to inform them that they might well be eligible for a claim.

The letters started to hit doormats across the land this week, so plenty of people will soon find out whether they’ve got grounds for complaint. Of course, you could always enlist the services of one of the innumerable PPI claim-back ‘specialists’ which advertise on the telly, but that might see them trousering up to 30 per cent of what you’re owed. It’s pretty easy to claim back yourself – a letter outlining your circumstances or a quick chat to one of the bank’s PPI helplines should do the trick. Get a move on though – the lenders should be experiencing a pretty high volumes of enquiries as we speak.


Multimillionaires Stephen Fry, Ron Weasley out of Harry Potter and Julie Walters espouse the joy of holidaying in Blighty in a £5m ad campaign. They’ve clearly not been on a long, wet weekend in a caravan in Porthcawl recently, have they?

Making a boob of a false life insurance claim

Most of us have probably looked in the mirror and breathed an unhappy sigh at a part of anatomy that we’re none to happy with, but most of the time, we just get on with life well enough. Nelli Kellaway, on the other hand, decided that it might be a good idea to get her husband to fake his own death in order to pay for a breast enhancement using the proceeds from his life insurance policy.

Nelli, 43, claimed her husband, serial swindler Stephen Kellaway, passed away on a family trip to her native Russia, where she underwent the procedure. She arrived back in the UK with a death certificate and an urn containing her husband’s ‘ashes’. We also imagine she was clad entirely in black, wearing a veil and huge sunglasses, just to layer it on really thick. You’d think that her chap, who trousered £100,000 a year as a psychologist, could afford it. After all, he did have a property portfolio worth £1m, which he unbelievably claimed housing benefit on.

This week, Stephen has been extradited from Thailand, where he was on the run (he was found sleeping rough in an airport), and he’ll now have to face trial in the UK, facing a lengthy prison sentence. We’ll wager he’s probably regretting not just saying “no, they look FINE darling” now.

News this week

EDF, one of the caring, sharing members of the ‘big six’ energy firms is repaying a total of £4.5m to it’s ‘most vunerable’ customers in lieu of a fine after it was found guilty of breaching market licensing conditions.

The EU gender ruling on insurance could see women pay up to £362 a year more for their annual policies when it kicks in next year, according to The Daily Mail.

On News this week

Kristian Dando took a look at credit hire fraud, and didn’t like what he saw.

"Get on your bike and look for work," advised Norman Tebbitt back in the 1980s. If he'd just bided his time for another, ooh, 25 years or so, he could have directed folk to this handy guide to slashing the cost of cycling, too.

Green-fingered Rachel England produced this fantastic guide to growing your own. You dig?

If you’re planning on clearing out your old junk during your spring clean, here’s a guide to how you can make some money out of it.

And finally

Attendees at a Kazakhstani ski festival were left confused this week when asked to stand for the national anthem, only for Ricky Martin’s 1999 pop smash ‘Livin’ Da Vida Loca’ to come out of the PA system. "I want to wish you health, success, prosperity, good starts and victories,” said the compere, live on Kazakh TV in what was inititally a dignified ceremony. "Attention! National Anthem of the Republic of Kazakhstan," announced a voice, before the funky horns which announce the beginning of the Latin hitmaker’s international bestseller kicked in unexpectedly, much to the amusement of bystanders. You can watch it for yourself here