Reduce Your Home Insurance Premium!
Welcome to our Irish Insurance Blog! Looking for the best value home insurance? To help you, we have listed some of the main areas to focus on before choosing the policy to suit your needs…and pocket!
Rebuilding your property:
This is where many people end up over-paying for their home insurance. They request a quote based on the current sales value of their property, rather than the actual rebuild costs. The rebuild cost figure could save you as much as ten percent on your premium. If you insure your property for €400,000 and it only costs €300,000 to rebuild, the insurance company will only pay out €300,000 and so you have wasted money insuring your property for an unnecessary extra €100,000. The safest way of arriving at the rebuilding cost is to establish the rebuilding cost per square foot/meter for similar properties in your area and the best website to assist you in this is the one run by the Society of Chartered Surveyors. Any extensions/modifications you make to the property should always be included in your rebuilding cost estimate. It you are a landlord/tenant, the management company fee may cover all rebuilding costs…but not contents cover.
Again, exaggerating/overvaluing the household contents will increase the annual premium of your home insurance policy. You will only ever receive payment on the actual value of the items covered and not the valuation you put on them. All insurance company’s content policy differs in what it covers…from bicycles, cash, jewelry, accidental damage, to whether your built-in wardrobes or fitted kitchen fall under the cover. A proper contents listing…room by room, will give you the most accurate valuation figure and could save you anything up to fifteen percent off your annual premium!
Insuring your valuables:
Sometimes called ‘all risk cover’, this all-inclusive contents cover package can protect you against loss or damage of your valuables, items like jewelry, smart phones, PC’s, cash, etc. These are usually items that standard contents policies fail to cover…and even if they do, may sometimes not cover the true value of a particular item over say, five thousand euro. So if your €10,000 engagement ring is stolen, the most you may get back is €5,000. As with contents cover, the policies covering valuables vary dramatically in what they will, and will not, pay out on…so please check the small print. Obviously, the more valuable these items, the higher the premium.
Should you have a high or low excess?
One simple way of bringing down your premium is to take out a policy with a high excess. However when you make a claim you pay a higher excess amount to replace/repair the insured item. So, for instance, if your €1,000 laptop is stolen or is accidentally destroyed, and you have an excess of €500 built into your policy, you will only get €500 back from the insurance company…leaving you to pay out the first €500. This type of higher excess will reduce your annual insurance premium…but of course will cost you more in the long run if you have to make a claim on the policy.
Will a burglar alarm lower my premium?
The simple answer is yes, particularly if your alarm is a monitored one. The more advanced the burglar alarm the more of a reduction in your policy you should expect to receive. Always ensure to have your alarm switched on, especially while the property is vacant, but also at night while you are at home, as some policies may penalise you for not making proper use of the alarm to protect your property and contents. Another way of reducing your annual home insurance premium is by informing the insurance company that your estate/area is involved in a Neighborhood Watch Scheme.
The addition of smoke alarm:
Smoke alarms, particularly those connected to your mains electricity with a backup battery, and a carbon monoxide alarm will not only protect you and your family against fire and odorless poisonous carbon monoxide gas, it may also assist in reducing your insurance premium. Smoke alarms are cheap and you should have at least two, one in the hall and one in the landing…although many householders are now placing these lifesaving alarms in each room of the house…as you can never be too safe!
The policy’s content:
It is imperative that you understand what is covered and not covered and the various terms and conditions that come with the policy…no matter how boring the process! If you are in any doubt about the extent of coverage, contact your insurance company immediately to get clarity. Changing your policy will obviously effect the premium…however, it is vitally important that you get the policy that best covers your needs. It is also imperative that each year you read the policy’s coverage conditions as very often a policy can change without it being instantly obvious to the policy holder.
Some of the major coverage areas to examine include:
1. The level of public liability insurance, in case any non-family member sustains an injury…or worse. Friends, gardeners, electricians and even your friendly postman all need to be properly covered so that you are not left with a huge claim against you and your property in case of a third party accident.
2. If you go on an extended holiday, perhaps to your holiday home abroad, it is important to understand how long you can leave your home unoccupied before the coverage expires. As a precaution against anything unsavory happening to your property while you are away you should ensure that the alarm is on, all taps and electrics are turned off, and of course it is always advisable to notify a trusted neighbour, you may also consider leaving them a spare key and alarm cod in case the alarm activates. Letting the local Gardai know about your extended absence will also add another level of security to your property and its contents.
3. Make sure that all the details the insurance company have listed in the policy about your property are correct, for instance; the types of locks on the door/windows, the age of the property, any new modifications/extensions to the property, etc, or you may find that the insurers may not pay out in the case of a claim due to misleading information having been supplied by you, the client.
Finding the most competitive quote:
Banks offering mortgages may try and sell you their own home insurance package. This is not necessarily the best option for you. There maybe a cheaper, more appropriate insurance package available to choose from. Shopping around for the best quote can help enormously! Visit our home insurance comparison website Compare Insurance Ireland to review quotes. Compare Insurance Ireland .ie is owned by Paul Hudson trading as Magenta Online Marketing. Paul Hudson trading as Magenta Online Marketing is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered in Ireland, ref no 117655.
Submitting a claim:
Some of the major points to consider include:
1. There are times when you should consider not making a claim against your home insurance policy. For example if the value of the item is only slightly above your excess, as this may increase your premium the following year.
2. Always keep receipts for valuable items and identification numbers, so that you can prove you actually owned them in the case of the items being stolen or destroyed by fire. Keeping evidence of valuable items in a different location to your home may be a safe option in the case of fire.
3. Make sure you are totally honest when making a claim…by not exaggeration your losses or you may end up invalidating your total cover. This also includes giving the insurer accurate information when initially taking out the policy, including providing details of your previous claims history.
4. Finally, if you feel you are being untreated unfairly by your insurance company during the claim process and are not happy with their final findings you should contact the Financial Service Ombudsman.
For more information on home insurance check ConsumerHelp.ie Thank you for visiting Affinity Insurance, we hope you found our Irish Insurance Blog helpful and informative! Content relating to this home insurance post are for information purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice.
Drive Down The Cost of Car Insurance!
Would you like to know how to get the best motor insurance deal available on the market? By simply adhering to the following important guidelines your premium may drop substantially!
Check out the amazing deals online!
Competition is fierce with all motor insurance providers fighting to win your business. There maybe extra deals that can be found online that are not offered elsewhere.
Do not always go for the first deal you find!
Make sure you examine all the best motor insurance packages on offer before you select the one that is just right for you. This way, you can ensure that you are saving on unnecessary additional premium expenses that come with so many packages…leaving you more money in your pocket to spend on the ‘nicer’ things in life!
Never over value the car!
Never try to over insure your car, as you are simply wasting your money. For instance, in the case of a claim were your car has been written off, the insurance investigator will always base your claim purely upon the true value of your car at the time before the accident…NOT THE VALUATION YOU PLACED ON THE POLICY. The more you overvalue your car, the dearer the policy becomes and the more money you waste.
Try leaving your car at home!
If you commute to and from your destination (work, shopping, college, etc) there are motor insurance providers who will discount your premiums…some by as much as up to ten percent. So try the bus, train or bicycle…and make sure you keep the receipts to prove you are using your car less than before.
Decrease the amount that your insurance policy pays out!
If you purchase a car insurance policy that does not cover the full loss, your premiums will be lower. However the higher the excess (the amount you must pay towards the claim), the lower the final payout!
Use the same insurance company for other insurable items!
You can save up to ten percent in premiums if you decide to insure more than just your car through the same insurance company. By insuring your house, pet, etc, you may avail of annual policy savings.
Your job description!
Always let your insurance company know if you have changed your career or job to one that involves less travelling on the road, as this may reduce your risk factor and hence your insurance premiums. So, not only will you be paying less for your petrol but you could knock as much as ten percent off your annual car insurance costs!
Never undervalue your car!
Never pretend that your car is worth less than it is just to keep you premiums low, as this will mean that you get less of a payout if you have to make a claim. It is no harm to seek advice from the insurance company as they may direct you to a valuation segment that represents a true reflection of your car’s value, which could lower your overall premium.
No claims bonus protection!
By refusing what is called a “Step Back Bonus” addition to your policy, you may cut the overall cost of your car insurance premium. A Step Back Bonus means that you will hold onto all your no claim bonus discounts built up over the years. On the downside, if you make a claim, you are likely to lose one or more of these annual bonuses and face a higher premium the following year.
Build up your no-claims discount!
You can lower your premiums significantly if you haven’t made a claim, or a claim hasn’t been made against you over a number of years. Always check before switching insurers, to establish whether you will be able to carry over your full no-claims discount.
By adding an alarm or car immobilizer, your premium may reduce as these anti-theft devices will protect your car from loss due to theft.
Your address and where you park!
There are areas within cities, towns and villages that are considered riskier than others, similarly urban address can command higher premiums than rural locations. Of course, if you can park your car overnight in a secure garage this may reduce your premium costs.
The car model!
The fancier the car, the more expensive the motor insurance premium. Expensive cars, high performance cars and soft rooftop cars, for instance, can bump up your car insurance premium over the more modest car. Simply follow some or all of the above tips and you may save on your annual motor insurance premium!
Car Insurance FAQ
We have drawn up a list of popular, frequently asked questions below, which we hope will be of assistance in understanding some of the ins and outs of the car insurance business.
Making a claim?
Just ring the company your car is insured with and quote your insurance policy number…which you will find on your insurance documentation, and request to be connected to their claims division.
If someone else is claiming from you?
You should always contact your insurance company immediately if there has been an incident involving a third party, and give them your version of events.
Temporary car replacement car?
Due to the competitive nature of the car insurance industry, this benefit often comes with many comprehensive car insurance policies, when your car is being repaired. However, it is typically standard practice for the insurance company to request that you leave your car with one of their approved garages. Make sure you read your insurance policy benefits to ensure that this is part of your coverage.
What happens if my car is written off?
The insurance assessor can only confirm if your car is a total write off…and if this is the case, your insurer will provide you with the actual market value of the car at that time, less the excess (that part of your car’s value not initially covered by the policy).
How does my insurance excess affect my claim?
If you have chosen to lower the cost of your car insurance policy by accepting a high policy excess (the amount you must pay towards the claim), then obviously you will receive less from the insurance company…and vice versa!
No claims discount?
This is a discount you get on your premium for every year you do not make a claim on your car insurance. The maximum number of no claims years you can build up is typically five to six years.
Protecting your no claims discount?
By taking out a Step Back add on, you can continue to hold onto your no claims yearly credits after making a claim…depending on the terms of the Step Back cover. This addition, of course, increases the cost of your premium.
Your immediate priority is to phone the insurance company and Gardai with all the details, and so cover yourself against any wrong doing your stolen car may be involved in…until its recovery.
What if my car breaks down?
Some comprehensive policies come with free breakdown assistance, which means that if your car breaks down or will not start, the insurance company will send out a mechanic to try and get your car up and running as quickly as possible. If this is not possible, the mechanic will tow your car to a local garage and then assist you home. You need to check your policy to see if you are covered for breakdown assistance while the car is outside your house or just while on the road.
Losing your keys?
If you leave your keys in the car, which is then stolen, you will not be covered. As with all the above, the policy terms and conditions will describe the type of cover you have on your car keys and repair of locks.
Whose car can I drive?
Some policies are more flexible than others when it comes to driving a partner/colleague’s car with permission. These details will be found in your policy’s terms and conditions/benefits.
What can I not claim for?
Depending on your policy, the more typical items not covered are depreciation of the vehicle’s value, annual wear and tear, fines for speeding and illegal parking and tyre/wheel damage.
Damage to my windscreen?
Most comprehensive insurance policies cover damage to a car’s windscreen, the insurer will either attempt to repair or simply replace the damaged windscreen. Upgrading your policy from the more basic third party, fire and theft option will improve your chances of obtaining this cover.
What to do when an accident occurs?
Never engage in a discussion about blame as this will be the job of the Gardai/insurance companies involved. Ring the Gardai immediately and then make a list of the following: the registration plate number, car insurance number, driving license information (including the person’s name and address) of the other car/driver. You can also take relevant photographs with your phone as evidence. It is also imperative that you then inform your insurance company and describe all the particulars of the accident…and that you pass across to them any relevant correspondence you may get later relating to the accident.
Can someone refuse to offer me motor insurance?
Yes they can, however, if you are refused car insurance by at least three insurance companies you can contact the Irish Insurance Federation’s Declined Cases Committee, who will look into your case.
For move information on consumer rights relating to car insurance please visit Citizen Information. And finally for information on insurance fraud please visit Insurance Confidential. Tips relating to this motor insurance post are for information purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice.
Cheap Travel Insurance Tips
The fourth thing on every travelers check list, after passports, tickets and ensuring that you have all of your kids accounted for in the car, should be travel insurance! Whether you end up standing on a nasty jellyfish in the blue waters of some exotic tropical island or breaking a bone on some whiter than white ski resort, it is always comforting to know that your resultant hospital visit will not end up costing you your life savings!
Here we get to take a look at the multitude of travel insurance policies available in the marketplace. In today’s ever-changing world it is vitally important to ensure that you are covered for the obvious and the not so obvious…from the seemingly annual environmental catastrophes like overactive volcanoes pumping out blackened ash to sudden snowfalls cascading down, deep enough to cover cars. And of course there is the inevitable risk of your plane being delayed for one of a possible hundred dozen reasons! The risks are endless and could affect you, your wife and kids or your business colleagues. So it is imperative that you know exactly what your policy does and does not cover and whether or not you can take out additional cover to protect yourself against specific activities, such as golf, cruise or business trips.
The more research you carry out into the various travel insurance packages that are available, the more you are likely to save…and the more suitable the coverage. The first point of call is to figure out the type of policy that is the best match for the type of trip you intend on making. Sun worshipping, hiking or skiing trips, whether you intend taking one or more trips and whether your trip or trips will be short or long visits will all impact on the cost and type of policy. The most common policy types are covered here:
* Students will be particularly keen on BACKPACKER TRAVEL INSURANCE, which should give you extended duration of coverage…anything from a few weeks to up to two years.
* The most common insurance is SINGLE TRIP COVER, were typically, a family is heading off for their annual holiday to the sun.
* More suitable for a frequent traveler, who typically takes more than one trip per year are the MULTI TRIP TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICIES or ANNUAL COVER packages.
* The more specific and typically more risky types of travel, like a skiing holiday, tend to have their own particular tailor-made policy, for instance WINTER SPORT COVER.
Typical travel insurance coverage:
• Unexpected medical costs.
• 24/7 coverage and help offered by the insurance company.
• One of the most important liabilities covered by most travel insurance packages is public liability insurance, which should protect you against a third party making a claim against you or members of your family.
• If you are unfortunate enough to have your cash, credit cards, passport, travel tickets, etc. stolen or simply lose any one or all of these valuable items, most policies offer various types of coverage to indemnify you.
• Sometimes if the unexpected happens…perhaps due to illness or a death in the family for instance, forcing you to cancel or postpone your trip or indeed forcing you to return home earlier than planned, your policy should kick in to assist you with your predicament depending on the insurers terms and conditions.
• If you end up having to miss your departure time due to a covered risk, your policy should take care of the consequences.
• It is worth double checking the coverage dates, your policy should always cover you for the length of the trip.
Travel policies may also cover:
• Your legal expenses.
• Against personal accident.
• Where a 3rd party becomes insolvent.
• Strike activity.
Possible travel policy exclusions:
• If your claim arises from you being involved with drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
• If you or any of your family covered by the policy have an incurable illness likely to end in premature death or have not yet obtained results from a recent hospital visit.
• If you already suffer from a medical condition you will have to confirm with the insurance company the details relating to the specific illness. The insurance company could request that your doctor gives you a note stating that it is safe for you to undertake the travel…or you may be asked to go for a health checkup for the medical condition.
• If you are over a certain age, there may also be some restrictions. The bottom line is to always check the policy thoroughly to see what is and what is not excluded.
Useful tips when claiming:
• As with most types of insurance (car/home/pet, etc.) always keep a copy of all the receipts relating to the claim, whether they are for medical expenses incurred at a hospital or unplanned hotel accommodation costs due to the cancellation of a flight.
• If you have the unfortunate experience of losing your credit card you must always phone the bank as soon as possible. Travel insurance operates similarly…for instance if you are robbed, you need to contact the police immediately and get a written statement…and the contact your insurer asap with the details.
• You will need a copy of the airline company’s confirmed ‘property irregularity report’ if you cannot find your baggage on arrival.
• Double check that you have all the details of your policy, for example; who to contact and what to do if you need to report an incident to your insurer 24/7.
Tips to cut the cost of travel insurance:
• Before purchasing your travel insurance policy you need to compare the various policies available, particularly against things like medical expenses, cancellation and lost baggage. Visit our website Compare Travel Insurance Ireland .com to review benefits.
• Many companies charge for the additional cost of posting you your policy, so get everything emailed to you!
• Some insurance companies offer discounts if you purchase your policy online.
• Expensive electronic devices like Ipads, digital cameras, top of the range smart phones, etc. may not be covered in your policy, so take that older phone out of the press, dust it down and bring it with you instead…once it still works!
• Like mostly anything these days, buying in bulk may get you a discount, so rather than taking out individual travel insurance policies, make sure you compare couple and family policies to see if you get a better price!
• Another way of possibly reducing your cover, is to let the insurer know you are covered by a health insurance policy.
Other important information and resources can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs website. Finally if you have passport enquiries please visit their website. Thank you for viewing Affinity Insurance, we hope you found our Irish Insurance Blog informative! All details relating to this travel insurance blog are for information purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice.