managing director Jonathan Hehir explains the potential issue with the introduction of new rules around motor insurance documentation:

“We currently have a situation where car insurance premiums are falling. So if a motorist receives his or her renewal letter and sees that the premium they are being quoted today is €50 or even €100 lower than what they paid last year, then it’s likely that many will believe that they are getting a good deal and let their cover renew with the same insurer.

“Our advice is that just because it’s lower on the renewal form does not mean it’s the lowest premium you could get so it’s still worth shopping around,” he says.

Ireland’s leading health insurance expert, Dermot Goode of, answers your personal finance questions:

According to Mr. Goode, “the first point is you are potentially under-insured compared with your children. The second is the children are insured on a dated “consumer” plan, which is expensive relative to other options. We would recommend you “re-balance” the cover to move the children on to a better-value corporate plan and use the savings to upgrade the cover for yourselves.

According to Barry McCutcheon of Royal London, on the basis that you are not in a company pension, but rather contributing to a personal pension, you are eligible to take out a highly tax-efficient type of life cover called pension term assurance. With this type of plan, you are entitled to tax relief on each monthly premium that you pay. Assuming you pay income tax at a rate of 40%, and your monthly premium is €100, the net cost to you would be €60.

Thousands of Irish drivers are potentially paying up to €1,000 too much for their car insurance, according to new findings by online insurance brokers The finding suggest that of the 82% of households in Ireland with one or more cars, half of these could be overpaying for car insurance.

According to Dermot Goode of, unfortunately, this is not possible with your existing insurer, since they will hold you to your specific renewal date as you are in an annual contract. However, if the renewal is November 1 and you were thinking of switching to a different health insurer, you could potentially set up a new policy with an alternative insurer effective from October 31, to avoid any price hike it was introducing effective from November 1.

Given that you have been off the cigarettes for more than a year now, you could qualify for non-smoker rates on your life assurance policy, according to Sara Murphy of insurance company Royal London. The first thing you should do is contact your financial broker or insurance provider, she said.

Research by Dermot Goode of has found three in five of those with health cover are on plans that are too costly or do not suit them. This is particularly the case with older people.

Here are the best ways to fight against your car’s insurance costs:

According to Jonathan Hehir of, downsizing will have a positive impact on your premium. Age and engine size affect the cost. But the effects are not always easy to predict or understand. He says an insurer might attach a lower risk rating to a 2007 1.1-litre Ford Fiesta than to a 1.1-litre Peugeot of similar vintage.

Managing Director of, Jonathan Hehir said that it’s important that home owners are prepared and covered for storm damage, he said: “Storm damage is standard on all policies, so there’s no real way of “upping” cover in this regard.

“As a homeowner you just need to make sure that your level of cover accurately reflects the rebuild cost of your home and that your contents cover is up to date.

Home insurance is indeed less expensive than other forms of insurance. But that does not mean it is any less valuable. If a fire destroyed your home, your car or health insurance would be of little use, according to Deirdre McCarthy of