Question of Finance: Can I pay insurance premiums in instalments?
Q: I'm a 31-year-old roofer. I was made redundant in December of last year and have been on social welfare benefit since.
I want o go out on my own as it's the only way I can see of getting back to work.
I have been told I need public liability insurance and I also need to insure my van. However, I'm not sure I will be able to afford these. Is there any way of paying these in instalments?
A: Speak to the Department of Social Protection (formerly called Social Welfare) about its 'back-to-work' scheme.
This provides grants for people on social welfare who would like to re-enter the workforce by going out on their own.
It is limited to 50pc of the cost of public liability cover for the individual -- up to a maximum of €1,200.
We are hoping the department will extend the scheme to van insurance -- which would go a long way towards helping people in your situation.
Public liability cover currently costs an average of only €480 -- so in essence you would probably only be able to benefit from a grant of €240.
We are suggesting that the scheme be extended to cover van insurance also, as transport is imperative for almost all businesses in this sector.
Van insurance has never been cheaper, averaging around €400. We want the State to pay 50pc of both policies for those trying to set up on their own.
In addition,we are looking for an arrangement whereby people can then repay the remainder of the insurance premiums in 10 monthly instalments -- interest free.
Thousands of highly skilled builders, electricians, carpenters and other trades people were left jobless after the crash.
There is a need to look outside the box for ways and means to help them find employment.
Jonathan Hehir, director, www.insuremyvan.ie