It's hard enough to feel a warm, cuddly feeling for big insurance firms... especially when details of former insurance tycoon Sean Quinn's dealings are all over the front pages. Swapping a €10m property company for a laptop? That's hardly good business. Is it any wonder the Quinn empire came crumbling down... leaving us to pick up the pieces? Use the anger to stick it to any other insurer that charges you way, way too much. Send it a letter telling it to shove the latest renewal offer, and move somewhere cheaper. Cover for a €500,000 home in Drogheda, Co Louth, with €200,000 rebuild and 20 per cent contents. No claims for five years. Excess €300. Usual locks and alarms, for a pair of 45-year-olds.
Best: Chrome Insurance €324
Avoid: FBD €532
Saving: €208 a year
contact: www.chromeinsurance.ie or 1890 247 663
Not much chance of the bank giving you any actual money, but they'll get you to fill out loads of forms in triplicate before confessing that there isn't any money in the safe at the back. Apart from lots of bum personal guarantees from builders, and some sandwiches. For someone trying to borrow €20,000 over five years. Ulster Bank's u-first is the cheapest but comes with zillions of conditions, such as moving your current account over. Total interest paid below with quotes from www.bonkers.ie.
Best: AIB Variable €5,296.52
Avoid: BOI variable €6,866
contact: www.aib.ie or local branch
They'll suck the marrow out of your bones if you let them And we bailed out the banks for this. Overdraft rates at the rescued banks are downright nasty. Something has to pay for all of the bonuses. And that something is you and me. On a €1,500 overdraft over a year.
Best: National Irish Bank EasyPlus 10.25 per cent
Avoid: Bank of Ireland standard 15.90 per cent
Saving: €84.75 in interest
contact: www.nationalirishbank.ie or local branches
Oh, the excitement. The two people in the country who can afford a new car will be able to pick up a 2012 model pretty soon. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if they both bought the same kind of car. Fully comprehensive insurance for a sparkling new €55,000 Audi A6 for a 50-year-old female driver from Waterford city. No points or claims. Excess €300.
Best: Chill.ie €515
Avoid: Quinn Direct €783
Saving: €268 a year
contact: www.chill.ie or 1890 3020 20
Sunday Indo Business