Articles

Articles and Tips

23.12.2013
Travel cover is there to create you feel less stressed out at a time when there is already enough pressure done to you. When you are planning a trip, business or satisfaction, you are already under a lot of pressure to make sure that the planning is usually right. So, you should not want to make additional pressure thinking about what will come about if certain things do not go as prepared. In order to ensure nothing unexpected occurs upon on you and your family when travelling; take out some time to buy your travel insurance before you go on the trip.

It will continually be helpful to you in the event you start planning your travel insurance before going with the trip. Take out some time to carefully go through the plans offered by means of companies and make sure that you choose the the one that covers the conditions you specifically desire to be covered as well as supplying you with the benefits at an easily affordable rate. The travel insurance plan that you decide on most probably may have the following positive aspects:

Emergency medical attention: The most important benefit that the plan can present you with is covering your cost in the event you or your member of the family suddenly requires hospital treatment in a trip. Your insurance generally covers the charge for the treatment and perhaps also covers this incidental cost if your patient is inside the hospital. However, there generally is surely an upper limit on the amount that one could claim from this policy.
Cost intended for repatriation: Along with covering with the medical treatment, travel insurance options also sometimes handle the cost that’s needed is for the patient for being brought back residence. Generally a medical expert travels with the patient in these cases. The coverage also includes the charge for transportation from the body if the sufferer passes away even though making the trip.
Cancellations/Interruptions: Most plans consist of covering your cost if you will find any unexpected troubles like cancellation connected with any flight or interruption inside the trip due to unavoidable personal troubles.
Loss of fat: The most common benefit that may be included in almost all the travel insurance policy is coverage for loss in luggage or residence. You can declare for compensation if there is loss of funds or individual residence. However, you generally produce an upper limit with the amount that one could claim.
5. Had missed Flight: Your insurance cover also covers the charge incase, for any kind of reason, you skip the flight residence.
6. Legal Concerns: If you have a go at any litigation even though travelling, your insurance may generally cover the charge for solving the matter.
Therefore when purchasing travel insurance look for the blueprint that covers each one of these issues along along with certain other benefits that you require. Do not only look for an insurance plan that is affordable but always look for this is affordable in addition which covers the things that you are interested in. If you spend some time and book the right travel insurance approach, you can you’ll want to have a relaxed trip without unnecessary and unexpected complications. Always do your research and compare the travel insurance plans againsteach other and read reviews from the travel insurance companies.

27.09.2013

How to Save money on car insurance 

1)Compare all the providers.

2)Consider being a named driver.

3)Raise your excess.

4)Look for third party only or Third party fire and theft (Just to be sure check comprehensive price  as well at this believe it or not has been cheaper than the other two alternatives on occasion!

5)Look at value of car and only insure for what you will get on the open market re price.

6)Look for discounts when renewing and shop around.

7)Park the car in a garage overnight

8) Have an alarm and immobiliser fitted on the car.

9) Only drive a limited milage.

10)Have a GPS monitor fitted to the car so insurance company can monitor your driving.

*  Get the bus,train,taxi…do you really need a  car !!

 

22.12.2012
Deposit Guarantee Scheme                              Source:   National Consumer Agency

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme is a permanent scheme, set up by law and operated by the Central Bank of Ireland. It protects deposits in the event that a bank, building society or credit union is declared insolvent or a liquidator declares that it cannot repay its deposits.

If this happens, your deposits will be paid within 20 working days.

The scheme is funded by deposits from the institutions covered by the scheme. Under the scheme, your deposits with an institution in the scheme will be paid to you, up to a maximum of €100,000. You may be entitled to additional compensation under the Government guarantee if you have more than €100,000 on deposit with a bank or building society that is covered by the Government guarantee.

Credit unions are not covered by the Government guarantee. You do not have to be resident in Ireland or be an Irish citizen to claim under the scheme. As long as your deposits are held in an institution that is part of the scheme and your account is covered by the scheme, you can make a claim. When you place your money in State Savings products, such as those sold by An Post, your money is with the Irish Government. There is no upper limit on the amount protected and no expiry or end date for this protection see details on www.statesavings.ie The institutions operating in Ireland under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme are: ACC Bank AIB, including previous Anglo Irish Bank deposits (See note 1) and EBS deposits (See note 2) Bank of Ireland Credit Unions ICS Building Society (The Mortgage Store) Irish Life and Permanent (Permanent TSB) Permanent TSB, including previous Irish Nationwide Building Society deposits (See note 3) KBC Bank Ireland plc (IIB Bank plc) Danske bank (formerly National Irish Bank) Ulster Bank.

If you have an account with a bank that operates in Ireland but is regulated in another country, check to see if your deposits are covered by a compensation scheme in that country.

Note 1: Deposits at AIB are covered under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to a maximum of €100,000 per individual, so if you had deposits in both AIB and Anglo prior to the transfer, the combined deposits will now be covered up to a maximum of €100,000.
Note 2: Deposits in EBS and AIB continue to be treated separately under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme as EBS and AIB are separate institutions, each with their own banking license. If you have deposits in EBS and AIB these deposits will be covered up to a maximum of €100,000 in each institution – i.e. €100,000 for deposits in AIB and a further €100,000 for deposits in EBS, per person.
Note 3: Deposits at Irish Life and Permanent are covered under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to a maximum of €100,000 per individual, so if you had deposits in both Irish Nationwide Building Society and Irish Life and Permanent prior to the transfer, the combined deposits will now be covered up to a maximum of €100,000.
What types of accounts are covered under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme?

Current accounts Demand deposit accounts Term deposit accounts Share accounts and deposit accounts with building societies Share accounts and deposit accounts with credit unions.

Who can make a claim under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme?
Personal customers Sole traders and small businesses Partnerships Trusts Small companies Charities Voluntary organisations Accounts held in trust by solicitors (such as for personal injury awards) If you are unsure whether you could make a claim, check with your bank or the Central Bank of Ireland.
How much can you claim?
The maximum you can claim is €100,000 for each institution in the scheme.The scheme works by adding up all the deposits you have with that institution, including your share of any joint accounts. If you have more than €100,000 with a single institution, under the deposit guarantee scheme you will still only be entitled to a maximum of €100,000. However you may be entitled to additional compensation under the Government guarantee if your money is with a bank or building society covered by the Government guarantee. Credit unions are covered by the deposit guarantee scheme but they are not covered by the Government guarantee. Therefore the maximum protection you are entitled to is €100,000 per person in each credit union.

The examples below show how a claim on the Deposit Guarantee Scheme would work for different account holders with different amounts in their accounts.
Example 1: Single account holder with a deposit in a bank Amount of deposit Maximum limit Account holder will get Single account holder with a deposit of €20,000 €20,000 €100,000 €20,000 Single account holder with a deposit of €100,000 €100,000 €100,000 €100,000 Single account holder with a deposit of €150,000 €150,000 €100,000 €100,000* * You may be entitled to additional compensation under the Government Guarantee if you have more than €100,000 on deposit with one bank or building society.
Example 2: Joint account holders who each own half the deposit in a bank Balance of joint account Share of joint account per person (50:50 split) Maximum limit per person Each account holder will get 2 joint account holders with a deposit of €80,000 €80,000 €40,000 €100,000 €40,000 2 joint account holders with a deposit of €150,000 €150,000 €75,000 €100,000 €75,000 2 joint account holders with a deposit of €300,000 €300,000 €150,000 €100,000 €100,000* * You may be entitled to additional compensation under the Government Guarantee if you have more than €100,000 on deposit with one bank or building society.
Example 3: Amount of deposit Maximum limit Account holder will get (a) An individual who owns two separate accounts with two different institutions with a balance of €60,000 in each account €120,000 €100,000 €120,000 (b) An individual who owns two separate accounts with the same institution with a balance of €60,000 in each account €120,000 €100,000 €100,000* You add up all the amounts the depositor holds with an institution and the calculation of the guaranteed amount is based on that total amount up to the maximum limit of €100,000. However, in example 3(a) this individual depositor has a total balance of €120,000, but because the accounts are with different institutions the maximum compensation they will get is €120,000 (€60,000 per institution). If you have deposits with more than one institution, you are entitled to claim up to €100,000 per institution. * You may be entitled to additional compensation under the Government Guarantee if you have more than €100,000 on deposit with one bank or building society Some banks that operate in Ireland are regulated in their home country and operate here under EU rules.
If you have an account with a bank that operates in Ireland but is regulated in its ‘home country’, you would usually make a claim under a compensation scheme in place in the country where the institution is regulated. Some of the deposit schemes relevant to Irish consumers are: UK scheme for Investec Bank plc, Leeds Building Society and Nationwide Building Society Dutch scheme for Rabodirect. Danish scheme for Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank). Danske Bank is also covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.

 

 

 

Savings Accounts.

Whether you’re saving for a holiday, a deposit for a house, a car or investing there is a savings account for you.
Freetocompare.ie compare the many different savings accounts on offer, finding you the best deal. freetocompare.ie top tips for choosing a savings account make it easy to find the right one for you.
Think about how you will use the account. Knowing what you want to get out of your savings account will make it much easier to pick the right one. Some important things to consider are:

Do you need instant access to your savings? There are plenty of savings accounts on the market which give you instant access to your money, but you might get a better rate of interest if you put your money into a term or notice savings account. With these saving accounts you have to give your bank or building society warning if you want to withdraw you savings – usually between 30 and 90 days – or pay a penalty.

How do you want to run your savings account? Think about running your account online – online savings accounts often have higher interest rates than normal accounts. However, if you prefer to manage your account through your branch or by telephone, there are still good deals to be had.

Do you want to make regular deposits? If you want to put money into your savings account regularly, for example every month, considering getting a regular savings account. These accounts offer great interest rates, but you have to make regular deposits and there are sometimes limits on the number of withdrawals you can make.

The interest rate. The interest rate is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a savings account. Many savings accounts are advertised with very high interest rates – but often these are introductory offers. Check to see when the special rate expires, and how much interest you will earn afterwards.

 

Save Money on your Phone Bill

  • Skype: Why pay for calls when you can Skype for nothing? Download the software at www.skype.com and get free calls to other computers. Calls to regular numbers anywhere in the world cost a fraction of the normal cost – calls to Australia cost less than 2 cent a minute.
  • Mobile phone audit : Carry out a mobile phone audit every year to make sure you’re on the best package for your usage. Phone users who have no idea how many “free” minutes or “free” text messages they are getting could be spending €150 more than they need to each year.
  • Loyalty doesn’t pay: Don’t be loyal to your phone provider – mobile or landline. The sector is increasingly competitive so take advantage of introductory offers rival providers dangle in front of you to encourage you to switch.
  • Your needs: Do you need your landline? For some people the answer is yes, others keep it out of habit. A fixed telephone will cost even the most casual user around €500 a year, over half of which goes on line rental alone. While landline charges remain high, mobile charges are falling all the time.

Cheaper Electricity and Gas tips.

Using less gas and electricity will help reduce your energy bills, but thereare measures you can take in the short term that will make an immediate difference. We have listed our top tips for getting cheaper gas and electricity here.

  • Switch your energy supplier: You could be in line to save hundreds of pounds on your bills just by switching your energy supplier. If you have switched before, make sure you keep checking that you’re on the cheapest deal.
  • Pay by direct debit: Energy suppliers will usually offer a discount if you opt to pay by direct debit, which means that your energy bill will be automatically deducted from your bank account every month.
  • Take your own meter readings: If you don’t submit your own meter readings, your energy supplier will estimate your bills. In the long run this could leave you in debt to your energy company, or even in credit with them. All the time that they’ve got your excess money, you will not be earning interest on it (which means that they can!).

 

Car Insurance

If you drive a car you must be insured to drive it. If you stick with your current insurer it may be quicker and easier at renewal time, but using freetocompare.ie will enable you to compare many insurance companies at once and get a very competitive quote possibly saving you many euros!

There are ways to keep costs down, such as upping your excess, not making a claim, parking off road and avoiding penalty points.

Here are our top car insurance tips:

  • Be as accurate as possible about your annual mileage: If you just guess your mileage, you could overestimate and will find yourself with a higher premium.
  • Have fewer named drivers: You can reduce your premium by adding fewer additional drivers to your policy.
  • Volunteer some excess: A voluntary excess (usually €250-€1000) will lead to a discount on your car insurance premium as you are agreeing to pay a certain amount yourself if you make a claim.
  • If your car is over 10 years old you could reduce the cover from comprehensive to third party fire & theft.
  • No claims bonus amount: Get it right, and make sure you have proof of it.
  • Be honest: This may not save you money but will stop you from being prosecuted for not having the correct insurance!
  • Be a careful driver: It may seem obvious, but the less risks you take, and the fewer times you get a speeding ticket, then the lower your premium will be.
  • Pay up front: With car insurance providers charging an APR of 12.5% plus if you pay your premium on a monthly basis, paying for your car insurance in one lump sum is a far cheaper option.
  • Engine size. The smaller the engine size, the cheaper it should be to insure.
  • Don’t modify: Often – but not always – modifications made to cars, such as supercharging the engine, will force your insurance premium up or invalidate your insurance if insurance company has not been informed.
  • Keep it safe: The more secure your car is the lower your car insurance premium will be.
     

Mortgages

  • Look beyond the headline: The Key Facts Illustration (KFI) provided by your lender will give you a personalised quote for the total cost of a mortgage. Depending on your circumstances, a slightly higher monthly interest rate with no arrangement fee might be a better deal than a lower rate with a large fee up front.
  • Mortgage overpayments can save you money: The size of most mortgage loans and the standard 25 year term means that the amount paid back in interest is much greater than the amount originally borrowed. Reducing the outstanding capital by even a small amount makes a big difference. Overpayments substantially reduce the length of your mortgage and therefore result in lower interest costs. You will however need to check with your mortgage lender to see what kind of overpayments they allow as restrictions often apply.
  • Ask for two mortgage illustrations, one with and one without arrangement fees: This will allow you to fully understand the impact on the total cost of your mortgage before making a decision. If you do not have the cash available to pay the fee up front, putting arrangement and exit fees onto a mortgage account is an option, but you should be prepared for the extra costs to be reflected on the monthly mortgage repayments.
  • Once you’ve taken your mortgage out, if you begin to struggle with an increase in mortgage payments, taking in a lodger can ease the strain. The Government’s Rent-a-Room scheme means you can receive up to €10000 a year from a tenant tax-free.
  • Our final piece of mortgage advice is to always consider the cost of exit fees before you switch mortgage providers.

Broadband

There are hundreds of different broadband deals available and with so much choice it can be hard to find the broadband package that’s right for you.

Freetocompare.ie top tips for choosing a broadband deal show you what to lookout for, so if you are struggling to find cheap broadband, freetocompare.ie can help you get a better deal.
1. Check the speed Faster broadband packages are usually more expensive. It might be worth spending the extra money on a faster broadband connection if:
• you download large files
• you want to watch TV online
• you like online gaming
• you want to use the connection on more than one computer
• Cable providers offer super-fast speeds of up to 20Mb, while ADSL broadband suppliers usually offer    speeds of up to 8Mb.
2. Find out if there is a download limit.
Some broadband deals come with a download limit. If you go over your download limit you could be charged, making that cheap broadband package more expensive than you thought.
If you use the internet a lot or download lots of files, like music or films, look for an unlimited broadband deal.

3. Think about a bundled deal

You might be able to save money by getting broadband that comes packaged with home phone and/or digital TV.
Lots of providers offer great deals if you take other products alongside your broadband, so look out for bundled broadband deals.

4. Check the small print

Don’t forget to check the small print before you sign up to a new broadband package – there are lots of small things that can add up and make a cheap broadband deal expensive.

Always check:
• contract length – make sure you are not getting into a long contract. Broadband deals are becoming    more and more competitive and you may want to switch to a better broadband deal in the future.
• introductory offers – some broadband deals have great introductory offers, but always check that the    normal rate is competitive too.
• installation fees – do you have to pay any?
• the cost of calling customer services.

 GENERAL TIPS

5 Tips to make it possible to retire early

1. Save money early in your career.
2. Save 20% of your income for retirement !
3. Invest money over a long time span and leave the trick of compounding work! Start today.
4. Stay out of debt and watch your expenses
5. Plan to work part-time during your retirement.

4 Tips To Help You Get Out Of Debt Quickly

1. Create a budget. See what your income is and what your outgoings are!
2. Cut down on unnecessary expenses.
3. Stop using your credit cards.
4. Plan your meals for the week and only go grocery shopping once a week after a meal and not when you are hungry!

Personal Finance Tips

Live within your means!
The simple basic rule of personal finance: spend less than you earn.
Work to live and not live to work!

Do what you love.

For everyone who trades hours for money in a job they don’t enjoy – you know how painful it can be going to work each day just to get a paycheck. There is more to life than money. Money doesn’t make you happy.

If your career is tied to what you love to do rather than how much you can make at it, you are probably a lot more likely to make more money at it. Ironic, isn’t it.  that isn’t always the case, but life is too short to spend most of it doing something you do not enjoy!
To excel at something, immerse yourself. Dabbling in some things doesn’t make you an expert. In order to become truly great at something, you have to live, breath, think, and dream it. Find every book you can read about the subject, start doing what they say, and teach others about it. You retain the highest percentage of what you learn when you share it with others.
Take risks when you can.

Take calculated risks. Do everything reasonable you can to minimize the risk, but don’t be afraid to take a risk. It is okay to make mistakes. Human beings are designed for this. Life is just too dang boring without them.
Tap the power of compounding.
Time is a friend of compound interest and this is a perfect reason to get started investing today and put it to work for you!
Don’t save too much. Life is about balance. Saving should be part of your financial plan, but don’t forget to enjoy your life when you are still able! Develop a healthy skepticism.
This has worked hand-in-hand with the previous piece of advice. You should never let your skepticism keep you from opening your mind to new possibilities, but you also should not be naive.

Here are the things to do if you really want to save money!
• Turn the TV off. It is amazing how many people have their television turned on as background noise. If you don’t watch it, turn it off.
• Drink water. Water has incredible health benefits. Drinking it instead of soda not only improves your health, but saves you money.
• Write a list before going shopping. If you see something that is not on your list, don’t buy it. Unless you are food shopping and see a great deal on something that you can freeze.
• Freeze your meals. Cook meals in bigger quantities and freeze them. It will save not only energy but time.
• Buy low energy light bulbs. They save energy and last longer.
• Always remember to shut your windows and doors. You don’t need to heat or cool outdoor air. Plus, considering rising crime rates, it is much safer.
• Use towels and cloth napkins. It will save you money and protect the environment.
• Air-dry your clothes. If you have a backyard, dry your clothes outside, when the opportunity presents itself! It will make your clothes last longer and will save you a lot of energy. You will be surprised to see how much energy your dryer eats.
• Buy own brands. They are just as good as brand named ones. If you don’t believe me, check he ingredients.
• Shop end-of-season sales. The best time to shop for clothing and seasonal merchandise is at the end of a season. Stock up on Christmas stuff in January. If you have kids, buy stuff for the next year.
• Before going shopping, do you homework. Search for coupons online or in your newspaper. Don’t neglect smaller savings, because they will add up.
• Leave your credit card at home and bring cash with you. Pay by cash which is a good reminder of how much money you are actually spending and have left!
• Take lunch to work as it is certainly cheaper than going out for lunch, and probably much healthier! Take coffee from home and save on buying it at convenience shops.
• Buy in bulk. It is always a good idea to freeze meats and refrigerate fruits and vegetables. It will save you money and extra trips to the shops.

10.12.2012

Is shopping online a good idea!

Our busy routines do not allow us to spend hours in shopping malls and look for our required items. Moreover the advancement of technology has made every thing so easily accessible that we have become too lazy to check out malls when we can buy our favorite products easily by clicking on a few websites. We also find best shopping deals easily on internet which saves not only our time but efforts too.

The biggest advantage of online shopping is that we get a wide variety of things to choose from, by just a few clicks. Online search makes you aware of the things that might not be noticable and are available on sale on the net. The latest products of all major brands can also be viewed instantly through the internet.In the past people had to spend extra money to visit other places to get the products of their desire but now they can simply order and pay for their desired product and they will easily get it delivered ato their home by the company.
If you wish to buy an expensive item and need to compare its rates then also there are sites that provide effective price comparisons of items for your convenience. You can satisfy yourself by visiting different sites and then buy the product when you feel completely happy with the price and product.
The Internet also allows you to check reviews by different users who have used your desired product. They share their unbiased experiences whether good or bad. This helps you in getting an idea about the affectiveness of the product. If you find more negative reviews about the product then you can simply drop the idea of buying it and look for some other brand instead.
Apart from getting best shopping deals another advantage of online shopping is that you can shop 24 hours on it and can place your orders anytime. Unlike traditional shops you do not have to wait for the shop to open, you can choose and order for your favourite product instantly even at odd hours.
If you want to receive your order quickly then it is better to search for sites that are in your country so that it will take less time for the order to get delivered at your place. Online companies that are located in other countries take a little more time to send your order through shipping. So it is completely your choice to place the order according to your requirement of using the product.
Keeping in mind the best shopping deals that many online companies offer and the convenience of the shopper, online shopping is the best way of buying your desired product. After all you can get your desired product from the comfort of your own home without too much effort.

9.07.2012

 

Types Of Life Insurance.
Term life insurance, on the other hand, is purchased for a certain term, or period. As long as you die within that period, term life insurance will pay an agreed upon amount to your beneficiaries. It will not pay if you cease to make payments or if you die after the term has expired. In addition, term life insurance has no cash value. Two other aspects of whole versus term life insurance should be pointed out. The first aspect is that premiums for whole life insurance are higher to begin with, but remain steady over time. On the other hand, premiums for term life insurance are lower near the beginning of the policy, but increase over time. Another aspect is that you can borrow against the cash value of a whole life insurance policy. This is not possible with term life insurance, since it does not have a cash value.
There are two variations of whole life insurance that need to be mentioned.
The first is a more flexible form of whole life called universal life insurance. With universal life insurance, you can adjust (within certain limits) the premiums as well as the benefit amount over time to suit your financial situation. This is made possible by placing the premiums in a fund that accumulates based on the interest rate. As with normal whole life insurance, this type of policy has a cash value that can be borrowed against.
The second variation on whole life insurance is called variable life insurance. This type is similar to universal life insurance, except that the premiums in the fund are tied to the financial markets rather than to interest rates. While the potential for growth is greater with this type of insurance, the potential for loss is greater as well. As you can see, there are some choices to be made when considering the purchase of a life insurance policy.
We would advise that you contact a professional Financial Advisor for further information before purchasing.

If you are considering purchasing life insurance, an overview of the available types should prove helpful. This article will briefly discuss the difference between whole and term life insurance, as well as some variations on whole life insurance. The easiest way to understand the difference between whole life insurance and term life insurance is to look at what is meant by their names.

When you purchase whole life insurance, you are covering your “whole” life – as long as you own the policy, it will pay a benefit when you die. What that benefit is depends on the value of the policy at the time of your death, but you own the policy even if you are no longer making payments on it. Whole life also accumulates a cash value on a tax-deferred basis. In addition, whole life can pay dividends throughout the life of the policy.

7.07.2012

 

Travel Insurance
This is when having travel insurance could save you. It is important that you purchase travel insurance to protect your-self and your family against un-forseen circumstances. So if you are planning on going abroad do get travel insurance to ensure a safe trip and peace of mind.

 – Insure Your Trip when you are going on holidays. You may think that travel insurance isn’t necessary, and that you have planned your holidays perfectly. Things like when to board the flight, where to stay, and when to come back would have been included in your itinary,but what if you have to change your plan and get back early? Or what if you had an accident or fell ill, which of course you were not prepared for?

You would end up paying all the medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance.

  21.02.2012

Freetocompare.ie

We compare car insurance,home insurance,life insurance andtravel insurance quotes
We compare mortgage rates,loans rates,saving rates,
electricity prices,broadband packages,mobile phone packages,
hotel prices,cheap flights,cheap car hire,and comparison shopping.

FREETOCOMPARE.IE PROVIDES BEST QUOTES FOR NICK WEBB’S ‘SURVIVING THE RECESSION’ COLUMN IN THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

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Sunday February 28 1010

Credit cards Family health insurance Used car loans Apartment insurance Lecky bills

You’d need to be about as thick as Ashley Cole to have one of the dreadful Ulster Bank standard credit cards. They are rubbish. These useless bits of plastic have an interest rate double that of the cheapest card on the market. AIB’s click card is an internet-only card; for those who can’t use the interweb, try NIB’s credit cards. Based on €5,000 credit card debt.

Best: AIB Click — 8.5 per cent

Avoid: Ulster Bank standard Mastercard — 17.9 per cent.

Saving: Up to €470 per year

contact www.aib.ie or your local branch

Family health insurance

Trying to figure out which health insurance policy fits your family best is ridiculously complicated. The insurers spend ages trying to muddy the waters between policies. Check out the www.freetocompare.ie website which crunches through the waffle. Health insurance for a family with two kids. Semi-private room plus basic day-to-day cover.

Best: VHI First Plan Level 1 — €1,830

Avoid: Aviva Health Level 1 Everyday– €1,960

Saving: €130

contact www.vhi.ie or 1850 444444

Used car loans

The scrappage deals are pretty good. There hasn’t been a better time to buy a car for yonks. But can you get your bank to cough up? A loan of €20,000 repayable over five years for a used car. Figures from www.freetocompare.ie

Best: BoI Finance — €409.28 per month

Avoid: Ulster Bank — €437.38

Saving: €1,686 over term of loan.

contact www.bankofireland.ie or your local bank

Apartment insurance

Apartments are usually partially covered under annual maintenance fees. But contents aren’t usually included. Contents cover of €60,000 for a 35-year-old couple in an apartment in Dublin’s Docklands. Alarmed. No claims for five years, excess €200. Including accidental damage cover.

Best: Chrome Insurance — €135.00

Avoid: Benchmark — €358.00

Saving: €223.00

contact www.chromeinsurance.ie or 1890 247663.

Lecky bills

Switching your electricity away from the gold-plated, hyper expensive ESB is a no-brainer. It takes less than five minutes. All you need are your bank account details and an old ESB bill. Bord Gais is up to 14 per cent cheaper, with green energy provider Airtricity up to 13 per cent cheaper than ESB. The highest savings can be made if you are already a Bord Gais customer and agree to pay by direct debit. Based on a €1,000 annual bill for a three-bed semi.

Best: Bord Gais €875

Avoid: ESB: €1,000

Saving: €125

contact www.thebigswitch.ie or 1850 485868

Sunday February 7 2010

Mobile broadband Learner driver insurance Super-duper health cover Mortgage protection Pet insurance Life insurance Whoops, sorry…

 

OK, so it sponsors the rugby, the Point and a stack of GAA stuff — but it’s still not very good value. O2’s dongley thing is the most expensive deal offered by the major players — including Meteor, Vodafone and 3. Average monthly cost calculated by callcosts.ie

Best: Imagine Wimax 3mb €14.17

Avoid: O2 Clear 3Mb €21.48

Saving: €87.72 per year

contact www.imagine.ie or call 1890 9299007

Learner driver insurance

Not even Jim Corr could deny the irreversible damage caused by a learner driver to a shiny new clutch. Fully comp cover for a 50-year-old Carlow woman with no points or claims for five years, driving a 2007 Fiat Punto 1.2L worth €9k. Parked off road. Excess €200, and alarmed. And with an 18-year-old female named driver who has had her provisional licence for one year. No claims or points. No cover for death rays. Quotes from www.chromeinsurance.ie

Best: Quinn €813 per year

Avoid: AXA €1,320.00

Saving: €507 a year

contact www.quinn-direct.com or 1890 89 1890

Super-duper health cover

Gold-plated health cover gets you a private room in a top private hospital. All the nurses look like Amy Huberman and you’d almost be safe eating the food. Quinn has a sneaky 3 per cent surcharge if paying monthly (nearly €70 a year in this case). Quotes from http://www.freetocompare.ie/ Best: Quinn Essential Gold €2,215

Avoid: VHI Plan E €2,832

Saving: €617

contact www.quinnhealth.ie

Mortgage protection

Only seven months to go until the new Lansdowne Road stadium reopens. Ever wondered how Aviva could spend so much on buying the naming rights? Here’s a hint. Have a look at how much it charges for mortgage protection… double the price of the best deal on the market for decreasing cover on €75,000/15-year cover for two 40-year-old non-smokers. Quotes fromhttp://www.freetocompare.ie/ .

Best: Zurich Life €10.12 per month

Avoid: Aviva €20

Saving: €118.56 per year

contact www.zurichlife.ie or 01-7992711

Pet insurance

Cover for a three-year-old male mongrel in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14. The beast is untagged, and has no health problems. Excess €150. Online insurer www.123.ie has a dirt-cheap accident-only premium of €83.95 — but doesn’t Fido deserve the best?

Best: 123.ie premium €149.92

Avoid: Allianz €157.21

Saving: €7.29

contact www.123.ie or 1890 221123

Life insurance

Chances are that you won’t get rubbed out unless you have a big policy. Probably not the best selling point for life cover. A policy worth €400,000 over 20 years for a 45-year- old male smoker. Chill.ie is offering a fairly chunky 60 per cent discount in the first year. Year two isn’t quite so pleasant.

Best: Chill.ie €477.75 per year

Avoid: Canada Life €1,554.36

Saving: €1,076.61

contact www.chill.ie or 1890 30 20 20

Whoops, sorry…

Last week’s figures for the interest paid on an €80,000 lump sum lodged with Investec, Permo or Ulster were plum bonkers and horribly wrong. Sorry. Sadly, 3.6 per cent is about as good as you’ll get.

www.independent.ie Sunday January 24 2010

Ski travel insurance Phone, TV and broadband combo Family health cover Flat insurance Car insurance Gas charges


Annual worldwide travel insurance including cover for a family heading off on the piste costs a proverbial arm or leg at VHI. The cheapest deal is from Multitrip, which also has a €3.50 handling fee, which you’ll come across halfway through buying the policy online.

Best: multitrip.com €49.99

Avoid: VHI €160

Saving: €110.01

contact multitrip.com or call 0818-444 444

Phone, TV and broadband combo

Splat! That’s the sound of Sky and Eircom crashing down. Chorus Ntl has kicked off a brutal price war and is absolutely crucifying Sky and Eircom on price. For a home phone, 5mb of broadband, calls and decent telly including Sky Sports and the somewhat rubbish ESPN.

Best: UPC Fibre Sports €960 per year

Avoid: Sky Mix 4 plus sports/Eircom Talktime chatter with 3mb broadband. €1,485

Saving: €525

contact upc.ie or call 1890-940 624

Family health cover

Fairly basic health cover for a family of four. Watch out for a particularly nasty and sneaky trick from Quinn. It lobs on an extra 3 per cent charge if you pay monthly. Cheap in more ways than one. Quotes fromhttp://www.freetocompare.ie/ 

Best: Quinn Essential starter €1,100 per year.

Avoid: Worst: VHI Plan A €1,520

Saving: €410

contact quinnhealth.ie or call 1890-221 123

Flat insurance

Annual management charges mean that you’re generally covered if your apartment block is damaged. But you’ll still need contents cover. Cover for €60,000-worth of gear in a €350,000 flat in Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2. No claims for yonks, usual alarms and excess of €200.

Best: Simply Mortgages €127

Avoid: Benchmark €302

Saving: €175

contact simplymortgages.ie or else call 1890-746 472

Car insurance

The big insurance companies are big for a reason. They absolutely fleece you with the cost of car insurance. We can’t think of a time that Axa came in with the best car quote. Steer well clear if you want to save money. Fully comprehensive cover for a 2009 Toyota Avensis for a 30-year-old woman driver from Killarney, Co Kerry. Apart from two points, there’s a spotless record. Parked off road, alarmed and with a nodding dog in the back window. Quotes from Chrome insurance.ie

Best: 123.ie €401.53

Avoid: AXA (broker) €839

Saving: €437.47 a year

contact 123.ie or call 1890-221 123

Gas charges

Bord Gais may the cheapest for electricity, but it’s getting badly undercut in its core business of gas. Flogas is now miles cheaper. Cost for an average user of 20,000 thingummy gas units per year. Switch now.

Best: Flogas €880.30

Avoid: Bord Gais €960.66

Saving: €80.36

contact flogasnaturalgas.ie or call 1850-928 100

Sunday December 20 2009

Save €150 a month to pay for a trip to see Santa up in Lapland in December 2010… assuming there’s still some snow after the Copenhagen summit. Ulster Bank’s Easy Access account pays 0.01 per cent, which is just for stupid people.Bank of Ireland’s Easy Saver is marginally less awful, but still pretty bad.

Best: AIB parent saver €48.75 in interest

Avoid: Bank of Ireland Easy Saver €31.69

Saving: €17.06 over a year

Car loan

The scrappage deal wasn’t exactly gold-plated, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick. With car tax topping out at €2,100 per year for something silly like a Hummer, it could be smart to switch to something smaller and greener with a €104 per year tax rate. Borrow €25,000 over three years to buy a new motor in January. New car loans are generally a wee bit cheaper than those for second-hand clunkers. Quotes fromfreetocompare.ie

Best: BOI Finance €777.66 per month

Avoid: Halifax €811.21

Saving: €1,207.80 over term of loan

Car insurance

Axa isn’t exactly pulling up trees when it comes to providing cheap car insurance. In fact, it’s never topped our best price list. Ever. Ever. Ever. Fully comp car insurance for a €15,000-valued 2007 Nissan Primera 1.8l for a 50-year-old Lucan woman with no points and eight-plus years no claims. Excess €200. Car alarmed and parked on a drive.

Best: Quinn Direct €335

Avoid: Axa Freedom First Basic €756

Saving: €421

Teenage mobile phones

Stumpy-fingered teenagers sending 600 texts per month plus 100 minutes of calls, split between other mobiles and landlines, would be worth hooking up with 3 Mobile, based on figures from www.callcosts.ie.

Best: 3 Best of both worlds €25 per month

Avoid: Vodafone Simply €45.58

Saving: €246.96 per year

Backpacker travel insurance

Grow a beard, get some dreadlocks together and spend the year backpacking in Australia. Smashing place except for the people. Or rather, the sports fans. And the spiders.

Best: Backpackercover.ie €129.99

Avoid: Usit €363

Saving: €234

Life cover

Loose carpet on the stairs, toasters perched at the edge of the bath, Christmas present of a savage pitbull? These could be signs that your family is after the big fat pay-out from your insurance company if you have a nasty accident. For €250,000 life cover over 25 years for a 40-year- old male non-smoker with no underlying health problems. Indexed with no conversion option. Serious illness cover whacks up the premium nearly five fold. It’d be about €40 per month for the life cover by itself with Zurich.

Best: Hibernian Aviva €178.41 per month

Avoid: Caledonian Life €219.99

Saving: €498.96

Home insurance

Cover for a €600,000 bijou residence in Dalkey, Co Dublin, €300,000 rebuild, 20 per cent contents. Usual locks and alarms. No claims for five years. For 65-year-old woman.

Best: Simply Mortgages €251

Avoid: RSA €642.99

Saving: €391.99

Sunday Independent
Sunday November 29 2009

Mobile Phones

O2 will have the shirt off your back. And not in a good way. The Spanish-owned mobile phone company is just far too expensive.

Figures from the Telecoms regulator or callcosts.ie show that O2’s best, best deal for the national average of 232 anytime minutes of calls — half to other mobiles — plus 150 texts per month is way out of whack with everyone else.

O2 is damn near double the price. In fact, they show that for 100 minutes and texts per month, all the way up to 1,000 minutes and texts per month, O2 is miles dearer than everyone else. Run away fast.

Best: Meteor Bill Pay €20, Connect €25.71

Avoid: O2 Clear Sim 175 €45.30

Saving: €218.40 per year

Mortgages

We don’t believe them either. The banks say that they are open for business and lending lots of money. On what planet? First-time buyer mortgage of €350,000 over 25 years with a 90 per cent LTV. Quotes from Simply Mortgages and freetocompare.ie.

Variable

Best: AIB €1,596 per month

Avoid: Ulster Bank €1,837.78

Saving: €2,901.36 per year

Two-year fixed

Best: Bank of Ireland/ICS €1,596.72 per month

Avoid: Ulster €1,886.30

Saving: €3,474.96 per year

Five-year fixed

Best: AIB €1,819 per month

Avoid: Ulster €2,035.88

Saving: €2,592 per year

Personal loan

Borrow €8,000 over two years to clear your credit card debt. Or to do something nice… like buy a Yamaha VX deluxe jetski. You’ll pay through the nose at Halifax. Quotes from Simply Mortgages.

Best: AIB €367.28

Avoid: Halifax €379.24

Saving: €287.04 over term of loan

Regular savings

The best “saving up for stuff” interest rate can be found in regular savings accounts. But you’ll need to lob money in every month and read page upon page upon page of terms and conditions. Saving €100 per month for a year with quotes from freetocompare.ie

Best: AIB Parent saver €1,232.50

Avoid: Bank of Ireland Easysaver €1,206.50

Saving: €26

Electricity

Save a few polar bears and a big wodge of cash by switching your electricity away from the ESB. Green (or somewhat green) energy provider Airtricity is up to 13 per cent cheaper than the ESB. But Bord Gais Energy is up to 14 per cheaper in the first year, if you sign a direct debit and are a gas customer already. Switch to Bord Gais for a year and then over to Airtricity. On an average bill of €200 per month.

Best: Bord Gais €172 per month

Avoid: ESB €200

Saving: €336 per year

Car hire

You’ll need a PhD in spoofery to get to the bottom of foreign holiday car rental costs, but there are big savings to be had by sniffing around online. Renting a cheapo economy motor for two weeks in Marbella next summer for a 35-year-old male with a full licence.

Best: freetocompare.ie €414.58

Avoid: Avis €571.79

Saving: €157.21

Sunday Independent

The Kingdom 9/7/09

KERRY consumers looking to cash in on a good deal in these recessionary times should check out ireland’s newest online price comparison service, freetocompare.ie.

It enables consumers to compare Irish financial products, broadband, mobile phones, travel and shopping, free of charge.

Research shows that a huge percentage of Irish people do not compare more than three providers when they are making a purchase, and the main reason for this is the hassle and inconvenience of checking the prices from different sources. freetocompare.ie aims to simplify the process by allowing the consumer to compare all the products in a particular sector in the one place.

 

Please enter your email to   receive our newletter with financial news, special offers and deals. 

 

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Free energy survey
The ESB are now providing a free energy survey which will enable the consumer to save money on their energy costs.The reference name of the survey is called “HALO” and if you log on to www.esb.ie you will be able to get more info and apply and see if you qualify! There are a few questions that you need to answer and your house needs to have built before 1980.

The initial survey is free and will suggest the areas in your home where improvements can be made.
The survey will look at how efficient your house is being insulated at the moment and your lighting costs and heating costs .
You will be provided with a report on how savings can be made and also how to improve your energy use.
www.freetocompare.ie

 

New Insurance Products for 2010

01/12/2009

At freetocompare.ie we are pleased to announce that we have introduced the following insurance products to our portfolio, Travel, Wedding, Motor Breakdown, Pet Insurance and Car Hire Excess.

Insurance requires you to consider your peace of mind. “How will my family or I cope if an accident occurred? This is not a question to be considered lightly but dealing with this is something all of us should do.

As a result freetocompare.ie would like to introduce you to our new portfolio of insurance products that can be tailored to meet your individual circumstances.

  • Motor Breakdown Insurance: Breakdown cover provides complete peace of mind for you and your family every time you venture out onto the roads, particularly in the winter months. We offer breakdown cover from €49 per annum.
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance provides protection to holidaymakers and business travellers against unexpected costs e.g. flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage and overseas medical bills, swine flu. Travel insurance safe guards you and your family from the unexpected while abroad. We offer yearly travel insurance from €35.83.
  • Car Hire Excess Insurance: Buy your car hire excess insurance today and cover the excess amount on your Car Hire policy from as little as €2.99 per day.
  • Wedding Insurance: The average wedding is now a major financial commitment. To ensure that all your hard work leads to a memorable occasion, Wedding insurance will provide you with peace of mind for your special day. Great idea to give as a wedding gift. We now offer wedding insurance cover from €69.99.
  • Pet Insurance Coming Soon!!!!

If you would like to find out more about the insurance products we offer or any other insurance matter please feel free to email us atinfo@freetocompare.ie and our insurance team will be happy to answer your queries and provide professional advice.

1. Cheap mobile broadband

23.10.2009

Pricesfor mobile broadband in Ireland are very similier with the different providers.It really comes down to speed, download limits, coverage and service that comewith the packages on offer.You will be able to compare the different offersavailable on the mobile phone/broadband comparison tables at freetocompare.ie
Please note that it is important to check with the provider that they offercoverage in the area you propose to use it in !

2. Money for old…phones !

23.10.2009

Oldmobile phones can be recycled – as there are plenty of re-usable parts in them.If your old handset is less than four years old you can play your part inhelping the environment by recycling it and making money into the bargain!

Just click on the following link.

www.Evirofone.com

3. Enery SavingTips

23.10.2009

At freetocompare.ie we believe in helping you save money in every way we knowhow. Here we havecompiled a guide on energy money saving tips to help you save money onutilities and give you cheaper electricity and gas bills.

We have worked out that the average household couldsave up to and over €200 annually on their energy bills. So to save on gas andelectricity costs check out our helpful hints:

  • Invest in a lagging jacket for your hot water tank and insulate pipes – this will pay for itself very quickly
  • Turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to
  • 10%. And if you’re going away for winter, leave the thermostat on a low setting to provide protection from freezing at minimum cost.
  • Replace light bulbs with energy saving versions: just one can reduce your lighting costs by over €40 over the lifetime of the bulb.
  • Is your hot water too hot? For most, setting the thermostat at a lower setting is still fine for bathing.
  • Don’t leave the fridge door open longer than necessary and defrost freezers regularly.
  • When cooking leave saucepan lids on as this will allow you to turn down the heat.
  • Don’t use more water than you need when boiling a kettle as it takes much more electricity to boil a full kettle each time than just enough water to cover the element.
  • Draw the curtains-it will help to insulate the room.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath.
  • Hang clothes out to dry instead of using tumble dryer.

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