WITH young children, health insurance is important to Mark Smyth and his wife Laura.
The Dublin-based couple have two children — Amelia (3) and Conor, who is 18 months.
Mr Smyth works as a senior clinical psychologist with the HSE, working mainly with teenagers, while his wife Laura works as an occupational therapist in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, so they are not unfamiliar with the health sector.
Mr Smyth says he never had health insurance when he was single.
“You realise it is important when you have children. Children are vulnerable so it is reassuring to have it,” he said.
The family switched their health insurance from Aviva to Laya Healthcare, a move Mr Smyth says saved €1,200 in annual premiums.
The Smyths now have Laya’s Essential Connect Family plan.
“It is so simple to switch. There was just one form and we have the same level of cover,” he said.
Mr Smyth is aware that the law means that there can be no penalties, such as waiting period, imposed by an insurer when people switch from one company to another as long as the same level of cover is involved.
The couple try to seek out better value when it comes to car and home insurance also.
A two-car family, motor cover is one area where they find that savings of around €100 are possible at renewal time.
The same goes for house insurance, Mr Smyth said.
“You need to make the phone calls and not accept the new quotation,” he says.