The Ryan Review: Shop around for home insurance
So, when it comes to getting house insurance costs down we all know what to do: shop around, make sure we're not over-insured, especially by lazy companies who use a percentage of the buildings cover for our contents. This can be very high – up to 50pc and, unless you have gold-plated taps on the Jacuzzi, will be way out of kilter for most family homes.
Only one in five premium payers change company when they renew, so it may mean up to 80pc are paying too much.
But now it seems the BER energy ratings might become a factor in costing this expensive bill. The better insulated a property the fewer burst pipes occur. Some insurers are beginning to offer discounts for good A and B ratings and since you can't sell a house without a BER cert anyway, perhaps it's a good idea to get one done before you renew your policy.
Jonathan Hehir of experts www.insuremyhouse.ie says 'cold weather events' such as burst pipes are one of the big issues on the agenda with property insurers. Other elements include alarms, especially monitored systems, the excess (the first bit of any claim you pay), but be careful you don't shoot yourself in the foot by having it too high.
Check 'Add ons' like accidental damage or insuring valuable items like iPads and bikes if you keep the excess at say, €500. It's cheaper to leave them off and pay up if they're nicked.
If you're an apartment dweller, make sure you're covered. Many assume their contents are insured on the group buildings policy – this is rarely the case. A contents policy for €20,000 costs from €10 a month, so it's a cheap remedy.