It is estimated that approximately 100,000 customers hold cash-plan cover, said health insurance broker Dermot Goode of

The main provider of cash plans is HSF Health Plan (HSF), which offers about 15 different plans to suit all family types and budgets, he said.

Mr Goode said all health insurers offer limited cash back on day-to-day medical expenses, but the new player is set to “offer an excellent range of benefits”.

Health insurance broker Dermot Goode said the pandemic has prompted thousands of people to take out private health insurance over fears they will not get treated in public hospitals due to surging waiting lists.

“People have a fear of the public health system. They see the waiting lists and fear that their procedure will be cancelled,” said Mr Goode, of

The rise in people taking out cover was also being driven by people returning from aboard and taking up cover.

Health insurance broker Dermot Goode of said the latest price increases could add anything from €75 to €320 to a typical policy, depending on the plan held.

Members need to be wary of the average figures as some Irish Life plans will increase by more than the average 1.6pc, he added.

Insurance company Royal London’s Let’s Talk About Death survey series sought the views of 1,000 adults on a variety of topics related to death. 

The company’s campaign aims to tackle the taboo surrounding death and encourage a dialogue on bereavement.

Noel Freeley is CEO of Royal London in Ireland. He understands why so many of us are reluctant to discuss death and dying, but argues that that reluctance is hampering the making of necessary provisions.

“While men appear to be slightly more prepared than their female counterparts, with 48% saying they have a will compared with just 34% of women, it still leaves over half the population unprepared.”

Health insurance consultant Dermot Goode of said the price increase will cost a family of two adults and two children an extra €87 per year on a mid-level plan such as the VHI One Plan Family or up to €224 on a dated plan such as the Family Plan Plus Level 1.

“This latest price increase isn’t surprising given the upward pressure on claims costs that we’re hearing from all insurers across the board,” he said. “People should examine their policies carefully. This is an average 3% rise across the Vhi but some policies will see increases of 6% and even 7.5%.”

A smoker could pay anywhere from €6,000+ to €60,000+ than their non-smoking counterpart for life assurance according to figures released today by Royal London. Experts at the leading protection specialist say that many policyholders are unaware of the significant cost savings that can be made on their life insurance premiums if they have given up smoking – with non-smokers benefiting from a reduction in premiums of up to around 50%.

Electric vehicles (EVs) generally benefit from lower insurance costs and lower running costs, says Deirdre McCarthy, manager at

There are discounts available from certain providers and more insurers are looking at offering lower rates to EV drivers both in an effort to support a greener environment and because they view the drivers and potential purchasers of the EVs as “good risks”.

According to figures released today by Royal London, non-smokers benefit from a reduction in life insurance premiums, meaning there’s significant money to be saved if you quit smoking.

Royal London said anyone who has successfully managed to quit since January 2020 or before could this year see their life insurance premiums reduced dramatically.

Loyalty doesn’t pay, is the view of Deirdre McCarthy, manager with

If you have been with the same insurer for a good number of years and have paid the premiums charged up to now, then there is little incentive for them to offer you better value, she says. The onus is on the customer to shop around and push insurers to lower premiums by being ready to switch.

 This change is being introduced across a number of Laya policies, according to Dermot Goode of

He said this is similar to what is already in place with Vhi and Irish Life Health. Laya is now introducing co-payments, or set shortfalls, on a list of 13 restricted procedures which are mainly orthopedic (hip, knee and shoulder replacements) and some ophthalmic procedures (cataract removal).