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News : Property Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 3:53 PM

National Consumer Agency issues latest Irish home insurance cost comparison
By Finfacts Team
Apr 20, 2011 - 2:39 PM

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The National Consumer Agency (NCA) today issued the findings of its latest Irish home insurance cost comparison, which looked at the cost of insurance for eight different consumer profiles and found potential savings of up to €440. The cost comparison also highlights potential issues around consumers’ understanding of “all risks” cover.

All risks cover is an optional extra under most home insurance policies which protects against loss or theft of, or accidental damage to, personal valuables, such as jewellery. The cost comparison reveals that when consumers request all risks cover for unspecified items (profiles four, five and six) there are a number of items that are typically excluded by insurance firms. These include items commonly taken outside the home, including laptops, hearing aids and mobile phones. Consumers that wish to have cover for these items must list them as specified items. The maximum value that consumers can insure a single specified item for ranges from €3,500 to €5,000, depending on the provider.

Commenting on the findings, chief executive of the NCA, Ann Fitzgerald said: “Don’t assume that everyday items such as phones and laptops are covered by your home insurance policy. Very often, providers exclude them, so if you want them covered, you will have to list them as specified items at an additional cost.

You might consider doing this if you have a smart phone or a laptop that would be expensive to replace, however, you need to bear in mind that the excess, which can range from €125 up to €500, might be more than the value of the item. It’s also worth considering the impact that making a claim for a relatively low value item will have on your no claims bonus and future premium. You may be better off looking at other options such as specific phone or laptop insurance. ”

The cost comparison also highlighted the difficulty that exists for consumers with recent claims for flood damage (profile 3). No firm would provide flood cover for customers who were in this situation. The Agency also requested quotes excluding flood cover for the same profile and three out of nine firms quoted. There was relatively little difference in the quotes, which ranged from €319 to €334.

Fitzgerald added: “If you are finding it difficult to get quotes for any reason, it’s worth approaching a specialist broker that deals with a number of insurers. They can offer you help and advice. When you are choosing a home insurance policy, remember the cheapest quote may not always be the best, so you should look for the policy that offers the benefits and cover you need. Plus if you want to make savings, don’t be afraid to haggle with your provider.”

Other findings include:

Notable price differences between providers - - The most significant difference in price was seen in profile eight where premiums ranged from €257 to €699 - - a difference of €442 or 172%.

Reducing rebuilding costs can lower premiums  - -When the rebuilding cost of a house in Co.Kilkenny (profiles seven and eight) was reduced from €210,000 to €170,000, the annual premium decreased by €50 on average. The NCA says while it’s very important not to underestimate rebuilding costs, consumers are advised to check the current cost of rebuilding their property, particularly as these have decreased in the last few years.

Finfacts article: Society of Chartered Surveyors says home insurance rates should fall because of decline in Irish house rebuild costs

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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