Make me richer: good deals this week
Broadband, phone & TV combo
Usually it's a really dumb idea to get all your services from one company in a bundle. You'll be poorer if you get both gas and electricity from the ESB or Bord Gais. It's usually far cheaper to split everything. But when it comes to telly, broadband and landline deals, it's well worth looking at Sky. We've compared Sky's entry-level broadband, phone and telly package with Eircom's NGB broadband and phone, combined with the cheapest UPC television deal. And the Pierce Brosnan ads haven't got really, really annoying yet. They might soon.
Best: Sky Entertainment €684 in year one
Avoid: Eircom/UPC €918
Health cover costs are going up again. Every week, there seems to be a new, worse figure coming out as the insurers try to get a handle on the mess that is the private healthcare market in Ireland. For a family of four in semi-private room in a public hospital with basic bells and whistles. Figures from the Health Insurance Authority.
Best: Laya Essential Secure €1,390
Avoid: Aviva Health Starter €1,644
contact: www.layahealthcare.ie or 1890 901 850
INSURANCE FOR A PUB OR RESTAURANT
It's hard enough being a publican without getting hammered on rising insurance costs. Doyle Mahon Insurance suggests that costs can be brought down by using strict cash procedures, CCTV, accident report book and a monitored alarm. Some insurance companies exited the hospitality sector completely, but there are still savings to be made. It points to a recent deal in which a small rural public house got insured for €1,600 with Optis, against a renewal premium of €3,000 with Liberty Insurance.
Best: Optis €1,600
Avoid: Liberty €3,000
contact: email@example.com or 053-9123630
The Irish stock market is up by 16 per cent this year. Even the Lebanese market is up 5.73 per cent. Lobbing your money into one of the An Post solidarity bonds will pay up to 3.79 per cent. Why on earth would you bother sticking your money into a bank savings account? The best rate out there is just 3 per cent – before tax. And that's for five years. Loads of accounts pay less than 0.5 per cent, which means that your money will simply be vapourised by inflation. Don't touch them with a billion foot barge pole. On a €15,000 lump sum over a year.
Best: KBC five-year fixed 3 per cent
Avoid: Rabo one-year fixed 0.2 per cent
Saving: €420 in interest
contact: www.kbc.ie or 1800 51 52 53
CAR HIRE EXCESS COVER
Car hire companies don't really get the dog's abuse they deserve. They have horrible sneaky charges. Hertz, for example, has an excess of €1,400 if you prang one of its Ford S Max cars. That means you pay the first €1,400 of any bill before the rental insurance kicks in. A sobering thought. The rental companies will try to sell you a wildly expensive insurance cover that will avoid these nasty bills. Run away fast! For two weeks in France, it could cost close to €220. Specialist insurance firms will cover the excess cost. A must for rubbish drivers.
Best: carhireexcess.com €44.85
Avoid: Hertz €219.94
contact: www.carhireexecess.com or 0818 44 44 47