| 15.4°C Dublin

Insurance rates 'down 15pc' in year

HOUSE insurance rates have dropped by as much as 15pc.

A new survey shows that extra competition in the home insurance market is driving prices down.

It's a rare piece of good news for homeowners who have been stung with the property tax and a rise in most other bills.

Just last week the Central Statistics Office said that 700,000 households are struggling to pay their domestic bills.

Experts at Insuremyhouse.ie, a new entrant in the market, said premiums were down on average 15pc. This means premiums have come down by as much as €40 in the past year.

Insuremyhouse.ie managing director Jonathan Hehir said the reductions in premiums were largest outside Dublin.

He compared premiums being sought now with those in a report by the National Consumer Agency last year.

In the capital the price of insuring a four-bed terrace house in Terenure, valued at €200,000, has dropped 4pc.

A three-bed terrace house in Co Cork with a rebuild value of €130,000, and contents valued at €40,000, now costs €245 to insure, €38 cheaper than last year.


Mr Hehir advised homeowners that they can get a discount for having an alarm or a monitored alarm systems.

"If you have one of these, inquire as to whether any discounts should apply," he said.

Mr Hehir also advised householders to check policy 'add-ons' – extras like accidental damage are often costly and not always necessary.

"There's little point in specifying valuable items such as iPads and bicycles if you opted for a higher excess, say €500."

Some insurers are introducing discounts based on the BER insulation of a property, which will reduce the incidence of burst pipes.

Recent figures from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland found that the cost of rebuilding a property has now fallen by a quarter since the start of the economic crisis.

This means thousands of householders may be paying too much for insurance.

In Dublin, the cost of rebuilding a three-bed, semi-detached house has fallen to €168,000, from €209,000.