Dermot Goode of welcomes the news.

“The average family of two adults and two children, as members of VHI will, on 23 January, get a once-off bonus of €200. The more members you have on the policy, the higher the rebate you will receive. Also, the rebate is the same for all members irrespective of which plan you have. Admittedly, this is an unexpected development given the upward trend of rates generally in the market, but it is absolutely good news for all VHI members — and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

A new survey by insurance group CFM finds there is a landslide of support amongst the Irish public for a major overall in the way insurance compensation claims are assessed in our courts system, with eight-in-10 survey respondents favoring a marked reduction in the amounts awarded. 

Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of CFM Group commented on the findings: “This survey gives weight to our calls, as the vast majority of people want to see changes. The crux of the matter is, the higher the cost of claims, the higher the premium the business or employer is charged.

Managing Director of CFM Group, Jonathan Hehir said, “This survey gives weight to our calls, as the vast majority of people want to see changes. The crux of the matter is, the higher the cost of claims, the higher the premium the business or employer is charged. For a long time now, we have been calling for a complete review of the Book of Quantum and while the Government plans to replace it with new guidelines on the “appropriate” level of personal injury awards, there is no specific commitment to reduce the award amounts.”

Health insurance expert Dermot Goode of has a rule of thumb, which is that anyone who has not reviewed their cover in the last two years is likely paying over the odds. 

Think honestly about how long it has been since you reviewed, and how much you might have saved in that time, and set a few hours aside to do some research.

Dermot Goode of said, while welcome and a nice surprise, VHI policy holders should not just stay to get the benefit of the rebate without doing their homework.

“This is not a discount. It’s not a reduction. It’s a once off bonus, and while welcome, people who have not shopped around could be missing out on five times the bonus in savings.”

A new survey carried out by the insurer Royal London would seem to bear this out. One thousand adults were asked about their experience with death, dying, and bereavement. 

When posed the question, “Thinking about the last time you suffered the loss of a loved one, what is your greatest regret?”, nearly half (49%) of the respondents agreed with the statement: “There are so many conversations I wished we had before they passed”; 32% chose “I have no regrets”; 13% regretted not having discussed family and possessions, and 12% regretted not discussing funeral arrangements.

Online insurance brokers Coverinaclick say that because tests have been limited to essential workers since the start of the second lockdown, the backlog is going to get significantly worse. 

They believe that the wait time could hit 12 months by early next year, and warn that that delays to driving tests will mean thousands of provisional license drivers will be forced to renew insurance policies which cost way more than a fully licensed driver would pay.

Deirdre McCarthy, Manager with, described how the temporary initiative could work in practice: “While not ideal, this calculated grade style system seems to be one of very few feasible options to tackle a problem that is only going to get much worse.

“The RSA have already stated how difficult it is to apply the necessary Covid protocols in the driving test environment and it is widely accepted that these protocols will be in place for at least another 6 months”.

Insurer Royal London found women were more inclined to consider how their funeral would be paid than men.

As might be expected, age plays a significant role in whether or not people have planned for the cost.

Just one in five of those between the ages of 35 and 44 have made provision for their funeral costs. Some 45pc of those aged over 55 have put money aside, according to the research.

Q: I hear the Government has announced a new grant scheme. Do you know if I’m eligible to get this?

According to Jonathan Hehir, managing director,, the grant is specifically targeted at people in your position so you should be eligible to receive it, Initially, when the scheme was launched, certain business costs were excluded – one being the insurance premiums on your van, he said. After lobbying from and other van insurance providers, the Minister reversed the decision and van insurance is now included.