INSURANCE INFORMATION

Please see information on Insurance below.

        

What is Insurance?

Taking an insurance policy means you are transferring risk. You make an agreement with an insurer, that if you suffer a loss (the type of loss is defined within the contract), the insurer will compensate you.

So, if you do suffer a loss – say an injury after an accident – you won't have to pay for it yourself. There are many different types of insurance in Ireland, as well as areas to cover – your car, yourself (health), home and when you go away (travel).

What is Premium?

Premium is the amount that you pay for insurance. Simply put, it is the insurer's cost of providing cover for 12 months. Premium varies according to the type of insurance you need and you might be able to pay it in monthly instalments.

What is Excess?

Excess is the amount you have to pay for each incident if you need to make a claim. The excess is deducted from the amount of cover you have on your policy, then either paid back to you or used to pay for repairs, supplier or even to the insurer.

What is an "Event"?

We hope it never needs to happen, but one day you might need to make a claim. This is called an "event" – something that has happened, such as an accident or damage to property.

Not surprisingly, an event must take place within the period of your insurance policy and must not happen with intention (you didn't damage your car on purpose).

Which events are covered depends on your policy – you will need to make sure that the insurance you take covers you adequately.

How do you get a Quote?

Most insurance companies offer a 'free' or 'no obligation' quote. In order to receive a quote they will need some information from you about you and what you want to insure.

Once you have received a quote you can usually take time to think about it. Even once you have signed up and paid for an insurance policy you might receive a 'cooling off' period which allows you to cancel the policy within a certain amount of time (usually a couple of weeks).

What are the Benefits of Insurance?

Insurance is essential to large corporations and companies, because it covers them for damages that might lead to loss of business. If you are a bakery and your oven breaks, you might lose business because you cannot bake bread to sell!

Are there any Disadvantages to Insurance?

Some people might feel that taking insurance is paying for something which might never happen, but the unfortunate fact is that unexpected events do occur. It may not be a major road accident, but if you have kids you might be glad that your property or rental property are covered for the mishaps they can create!

The only disadvantages you might experience are policies which don't cover you adequately or are not of good value. Make sure you really look around to get the best offer – and are covered fully for those things which you want to be covered for.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Health insurance is an important factor for many Irish citizens. Although the health service is available you might want extra cover in case of severe illness or injury, or simply want the extra care from private healthcare.

You can choose different levels of Health cover according to your personal circumstances and needs.

Where can I get Health Insurance?

There are many good insurance companies in Ireland who offer a range of insurance types, or who just focus on health insurance. To find one which suits you, look around and compare offers. For a quick reference guide, check Which Way To Pay Ireland's comparison page.

HOME INSURANCE

Home insurance covers us for a range of purposes. Whether you're on your own, have a family, or you are in your older years, a homeowner, tenant or landlord there are insurance policies to cover you.

You might want to cover you and your family for accidental loss to your home contents – ideal for families with small children. Or, you might want to be covered for burglary.

You can even find policies to cover you when you're away from home – perfect for people who travel a lot.

What Types of Home Insurance are there?

  • Home and Contents Insurance

Standard home and contents insurance covers your home in case something unexpected happens – including storms, floods, fire, burst pipes, theft and damage. The majority of Irish citizens have some form of home and contents insurance.

  • Investor Home and Contents

This is a policy which covers landlords – they want to know that their property is insured while other people are living there.

  • Cover for People over 55

People over 55 (or similar age) are often offered a specialized policy on their home and contents. This policy will carry extra benefits which suit your age group, such as assistance to home assistance services or you might even be covered for hotel room contents while you're on holiday.

What Can I Cover?

You can cover yourself, your family and your home for many things, including:

  • Fire
  • Floods
  • Lightning
  • Riots and Civil Unrest
  • Tsunami
  • Burst pipes
  • Explosion
  • Earthquakes
  • Theft and damage from thieves
  • Breakage (windows etc)
  • Damage by pets

Extras might be spillages from wine on carpets and other 'superficial' damage, but this depends on the policy.

Where can I get Home Insurance?

There are many different insurance companies which offer home insurance in Ireland. They may offer special variations on basic home and contents insurance – so do have a look around. Use our comparison page for a quick reference of each one.

Which Cover is Right for Me?

Before you take a home and contents insurance policy, think about your personal circumstances. Are you at home a lot? Do you live alone or do you have a large young family? Are you of pensionable age and do you have pets? Are you away from home a lot?

You'll need a policy which suits you – there's no point going for cover which doesn't include your luxury goods, jewellery, paintings and so on if you are a high income family.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

The Irish like to travel. Whether it's within Ireland or overseas, some might even say we are natural explorers! Getting travel cover is an essential part of any trip away from home. What if your flight is delayed, cancelled or if your luggage is lost? Take security with a good travel insurance plan.

What Types of Cover are there?

  • International Travel Insurance

This is cover for your trips outside of Ireland. Depending on where you're travelling to, you can find a good policy to cover you for things like unexpected accident while you're away, medical treatment, stolen personal items and so on.

There are lots of travel insurance types and as you can see from the list above, they all have aspects which suit particular types of trip.

If you're planning a trip, decide which type suits you – whether you're going skiing, on a cruise or just a business trip.

Where can I get Travel Insurance?

There are many insurance companies which offer travel insurance – shop around to find one which suits you. Study what exactly is covered under their policies and which one suits you best. Make sure you take the right policy and don't be afraid to ask the company to be crystal clear.

VEHICLE INSURANCE

I already have Compulsory Cover – why Do I need Car Insurance?

Every Irishman and woman who drives a car should have the compulsory third party insurance. When you register your car, you will pay this and it covers you in case other road users are injured and in the event that your car is involved in an accident.

But there are many factors which are not covered by compulsory cover – such as injuries which you might suffer, or damage to your car.

What Insurance Policies are there?

There are many vehicle insurance policies on offer, including:

The Main Types:

  • Damage to your own car (Comprehensive Cover)
  • Damage to the property of others
  • Third Party

Other Types:

  • Caravan insurance
  • Young Drivers
  • Commercial Motor Vehicle
  • Senior Drivers

Which Cover is Right for me?

Which policy or cover type is up to you – there are many providers on the Irish market. Think about your personal circumstances.

Do you drive often, what is your age, might it be much cheaper to cover yourself in the event of an accident? Much as we don't like to think that an accident could happen on the roads, it does happen frequently and even responsible drivers can be the victim of an accident.

Look around the car insurance market, weigh up the options and make sure any prospective insurer is clear with you. Look for what premiums are offered and what the fees and costs are.

LIFE INSURANCE

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is sometimes called term life insurance or death cover and pays a lump sum in the event that you die or are diagnosed with a critical illness.

Life insurance is cover for you, so that your debts and your loved ones are looked after in case of your death. Depending on what type of life insurance policy you take, you can cover areas such as your outstanding debts, provide an income for your family and deal with costs such as your funeral.

Life insurance is especially important if you are the main income provider in your family – if you are no longer around to provide financial stability, your family could find it hard to cope.

Most life insurance companies set an age limit under which you can take a life insurance policy. This is often between the ages of 16 and 65.

How Much Cover Should I Take?

The level of cover you should take depends on a variety of factors. Generally you could consider some of the following points:

  • How much can I afford?
  • Do I have 'Dependents' (e.g. children, spouse)
  • How many financial obligations do I have (e.g. mortgage, debts, credit cards)?

How Much does it Cost?

The cost of a life insurance policy depends very much on a variety of areas. The healthier and younger you are, the lower your premium will be because you are less likely to make a claim. If you are in poor health or a lifetime smoker, your premium will be higher because your life expectancy is shorter.

Here are some other areas which are factored in:

  • Your Age
  • Your Health
  • Your Lifestyle
  • Single/Married/Children?

All of these will make a difference to the amount of cover you need and how much the life insurance company will charge you. For this reason it is worth shopping around for a good policy – compare offers to get the best one.

The Benefits of Life Insurance

The benefits of life insurance are that those who rely on you financially will be taken care of if you die. Most families rely on two incomes to support themselves – if yours were to drop away, would your family be able to cope?

Even if you do not have children, your spouse or partner could be left with a pile of obligations such as credit cards or loans to deal with – without your financial contribution they could be left struggling.

As with all types of insurance, life insurance is a way to protect you and those closest to you. If you die, the emotional stress will obviously be the hardest part for your nearest and dearest; by covering the financial aspect you could help them in more ways than one.

PET INSURANCE

A huge proportion of Irish households have at least one pet. Whether you fit into one of households that have a dog or if your pet is more unusual, you will know that looking after a pet can become expensive.

Fortunately there are now many insurance firms that offer pet insurance which can give pet owners the peace of mind they need in order to care for their animals. Sadly there is no free national medical service for pets, so going to the vet – something which is a frequent occurrence for many pets – can become pricey. The right pet policy can cover the costs for when your pet suffers an illness or injury.

What Types of Pet Cover Can I Get?

You will notice that the majority of pet insurance providers in Ireland deal with dogs and cats – this is just because dogs and cats are by far the most common animals that Irish households have as pets.

However if you have a more unusual pet – such as a horse, reptile, rodent or even arachnid, then you will be able to find a specialist insurer who can provide cover. In fact, in the case of less common animal types, you might find that you need additional cover for areas such as theft because of the higher value of the pet.

Most insurance firms offer a range of branded pet plans, which range from basic (budget) to advanced – with higher annual cover for vet fees and third party liability.

The main areas you can cover where your pet is concerned are listed below:

  • Vet fees
  • Third Party Liability
  • Straying
  • Death
  • Accidental Damage
  • Theft
  • Kennel/boarding fees

Where vet fees are concerned, your insurer may only provide cover for illness or accident/injury – many cannot include standard costs such as flea control or neutering/spaying.

Make sure you are absolutely clear about what your policy covers, because that way you can relax and get on with everyday life. If something were to happen to your pet and your claim was void because of inadequate cover, you could end up having to bear large costs that you hadn’t expected to contend with!

Where Can I Buy Pet Cover?

You can get pet insurance just as easily as other types of insurance. Simply use the comparison tool on Which Way To Pay to review, weigh up and select a range of pet insurers in Ireland. There are lots of insurers that specialize in pet cover so take your time and look closely to see which one has the best offer for you.

You might notice that a large number of insurance focus their service on cats and dogs – but this is only because the largest proportion of Australians have these animals. You might find that the same firm offers cover for other animal breeds – if not, you can find a firm that offers specialist insurance for less common pet types.

        


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