Answer: According to head of proposition at Royal London, Joe Charles, this area is complex because of the myriad product names, types, and terms and conditions associated with life assurance. You have three main options – Specified serious illness cover will provide you with a lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of the specified serious illnesses covered by your insurance provider.

Insurers have imposed multiple single-digit increases in the cost of cover over the past year.

The cumulative effect of these would result in huge rises in costs for families, Dermot Goode of warned. He said this would mean some plans rising by up to €400 per adult from this month.

As you seem to be aware, your home cover may not indemnify you if you have paying guests in your home via Airbnb, and you must inform your insurer of the change in use, says managing director of, Jonathan Hehir. Non-disclosure is something to be avoided as it may lead to your insurer voiding your policy or denying a claim, and can be potentially devastating for a property owner in terms of securing affordable insurance in the future, if at all, he warned.

Health insurance expert Dermot Goode from helps us navigate the pitfalls and rip-offs when renewing our policies.

The good news is that your mother can get insured again, according to the managing director of, Jonathan Hehir. However, due to the gap between her last policy and when she goes to buy the new policy, you can expect questions from insurers as to why your mother was off the road. But once she explains why, her application should be acceptable to most insurers and she should be able to renew the policy as if she had no gap in cover at all, once her NCT is up to date, Mr Hehir said.

Health insurer Laya has announced another price rise. It comes hot on the heels of a premium hike this year from Vhi. Leading health insurance broker Dermot Goode, of, warned that insurers were now raising their premiums every four months.

“We are back into a negative cycle of rises at regular intervals,” he said.

According to leading online broker, car insurance is another area where single people lose out financially. A single person could pay almost €200 more to insure a plug-in hybrid than a married person would, even if the only difference between the drivers is their marital status.

Royal London offers multi-claim protection cover, which will pay out multiple times for different illnesses, or for different aspects of the same illness, up to your insured amount. Essentially, it pays per treatment rather than per diagnosis.

“To take the example of cancer, a person may go into remission but it could come back at a later date,” says Barry McCutcheon at Royal London, “or they might suffer another unrelated illness and need treatment.

New research from Royal London find that smokers are paying approximately twice as much for life insurance than their non-smoking counterparts. Colette Houton, Underwriting and Claims Lead at Royal London elaborated on the findings: “Each year thousands of people throughout Ireland aim to give up smoking, with the beginning of the New Year seen by many as the perfect time to jumpstart their health goals.

HEALTH insurance rates are on the rise again after a period of relative price stability. Health insurance expert Dermot Goode of warns that all consumers should be budgeting now for increases of 5pc to 10pc, depending on the plan held.

“Unfortunately, any price reductions received over the past 18 months to two years may be eliminated by the latest round of price hikes,” he said.