Personal insurance premiums have remained a controversial subject over the last number of years – Irish rates are still among the most expensive out there.
The problem is directly linked to claims farce here. Whiplash fees in Ireland often more than double that of our EU counterparts – and this isn’t just one example. As well as this solicitor fees and the court system – High Court and Appeal Court – result in the insurance companies charging more annually to make up for these pay-outs. The crash of Setanta in the last few years has also had a direct impact on policy holders while cars these days are so technologically advanced that this results in bigger bills in the event of repairs etc.
The immediate answer to solve the problem is to call for more transparency on premiums so the consumer knows exactly what they are paying. Public forums also call for a national claims database, a personal injury commission as well as one on fraud.
Thankfully in the last year premiums seem to have plateaued – insurance companies perhaps bowing to public pressure to be more considerate in what they charge clients.
Nevertheless cutting down on your insurance premiums is much welcome information for many consumers and here are some tips:
- Having a security alarm can knock up to 20% off your annual premium.
- By increasing your excess (the bit you pay in a claim) you should lower the premium.
- You can also look at your add-ons – do you really need accidental damage on you house insurance? You drive an older early 2000’s model vehicle – do you really need to insist on comprehensive cover?
- Making sure you’re not covering more than the real reinstatement value of your house – however you have to be careful – you don’t want to be underinsured in the event of a claim so perhaps get some professional advice here.
- Engaging with a broker is also a no brainer – a good broker will often have access to 5 or more agencies that they can shop around for you and also give advice on the most suitable premium or cover.
- Having your car parked on private property rather than a public street is also may cut your expense.
Financial pressures aside – insurance is all about peace of mind – asking advice from your broker is the logical and worthwhile first step – never risk it – insure it!