The Best Smart Doorbells To Make Your Home Safe And Secure

Modern smart doorbell systems keep your home secure by alerting you to visitors on your property, showing you pictures and videos of who’s at your door, and making your home appear occupied.

You may find systems with bells and whistles which seem like they make your home safer, but which might prove a sunk cost if you just need the basics.

There are many options on the market, so finding the doorbell you need will ultimately depend on your budget, as well as the goal you have in mind.

Ring Video Doorbell 2

The Ring is one of the most well-known video doorbells on the market. Amazon acquired Ring in 2018, so it now works perfectly with Alexa.

Ring can alert you to motion and noise, record audio and video, and let you have two-way conversations with your visitors. The doorbell camera is a high resolution 1080p, and can run from a wired mains connection or a rechargeable battery, letting you position it wherever it looks best.

Optional extras include a musical chime, and the ability to store your videos in the cloud for £25 a year. If you don’t purchase this option you’ll only get to watch them live, which is fine for most cases but may prove unfortunate if you happen to record a crime.

Perfect for: people with Alexa

Price: €199

Where to buy:

Nest Hello

Nest is one of Google’s most recent acquisitions, so this video doorbell works best with Google Home.

With 1080p video, night vision and a 160-degree field of view this doorbell is already a great investment, but it also comes superpowered with Google’s motion detection intelligence: basically, it’s better at telling apart a person from an animal or a moving tree branch, for example.

The Nest Hello is also equipped with facial recognition, so it can send tailored notifications when friends or family are at the door. Like Ring, you’ll need to pay if you want your video recordings stored in the cloud.

Perfect for: people who want to know exactly who’s at the door

Price: €279

Where to buy:

Byron Wifi Video Doorbell

Byron is a heritage name in doorbells, so it’s exciting to see its first development into smart doorbells is such a solid contender.

Key functionality such as two-way audio (to say hello to your visitors or appear that you’re home when you’re not) and 1080p video is all here, and the Byron even features motion detection.

The wireless version is easier to install but the video is only 720p – meaning the resolution is lower, so the clarity is slightly less than you’d get from other models – and there is no subscription service available. You can back up your video to the included memory card, or save them to cloud services like Dropbox.

Perfect for: beginners looking for a cheap solution

Price: €150

Where to buy:–23112uk

The Ring Door View Cam

Are you renting? If so, this is the wireless doorbell for you. It’s wireless, with battery-only installation, and it fits over your existing peephole with no drilling required.

As with other products from Ring you’ve got 1080p video and two-way audio, as well as the trusted Ring app which works with Alexa. It has built-in night vision and knock detection, and it’s also possible to set privacy zones that the doorbell will not record. This is great if you have close neighbours with kids, or don’t want too much identifying information on your vehicle or property stored in the cloud.

Perfect for: people who rent their home

Price: €199

Where to buy:

Arlo Audio Doorbell

If you have impaired vision or simply aren’t bothered about having video capability, the Arlo audio-only doorbell is a cost-effective option. It lets you have two-way conversations with your visitors, get alerts to your phone when someone is outside, and set up answer machine-like customised replies.

Rolling 7-day cloud storage is included in the price, and you also have the option to pair it with an Arlo security camera for extra safety and functionality.

Perfect for: audio only, no bells and whistles

Price: €94.99

Where to buy:

August Cam Pro

This smart doorbell has a light that switches on when motion is detected, which deters would-be  burglars as well as allowing the camera to record colour video at night.

Another interesting feature is that it adds buffers to video recordings: this means an extra few seconds of video before it detects motion or a button press.

Motion detection is via infrared, meaning it’s less sensitive to passing vehicles or trees in the wind, and August also offers free video storage in the cloud for 24 hours – but it does need to be hardwired.

When it comes to video doorbells, these gadgets keep your home safe as well as providing you a handy way to get the delivery driver to hold on for two more minutes while you get out of the shower.

While you can’t go wrong with extra bells and whistles, it may be possible to save some money if you don’t need extra functionality.

Perfect for: extra night-time security

Price: $199

Where to buy:

Talk to us in with any of your house insurance queries.

If you have any questions regarding home insurance or any questions regarding smart doorbell or security systems and if and how they may impact your insurance, please call us on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051 and talk to one of our house Insurance experts. They are on hand to answer all your questions. You can also get an instant home insurance quote online. We compare the market to get you the best cover.  We look forward to helping you find the best insurance cover for your needs.

Brexit Green Cards – Top 5 Things You Need to Know

With a “no deal” Brexit on the horizon. Irish motorists will need a Green Card to drive in Northern Ireland.

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Green Cards for Car Insurance

Here are the main five points that you need to know about Brexit and Green Cards.

1) In the event of a “no deal” Brexit Green Cards will be required when driving in Northern Ireland and Mainland UK. If you don’t have one, you risk your vehicle being impounded and prosecution.

2) You don’t need a Green Card when travelling to EEA( countries, including all EU states. So, no need to worry if you are getting the ferry to France.

3) If a deal is agreed, with the UK,  then Green Cards will not be required. However, in the case of a “no deal” Brexit they will.

4) Our customers can get a Green Card by e-mailing a request to us at You can also call us on 042 9359051.

5) Green Cards are proof of insurance that will be accepted by UK authorities. It is an internationally recognised document that shows that you have the minimum insurance cover required by law.

Green Cards – Why the Uncertainty

We understand that this is an inconvenience to many people, especially our customers who live in border areas.

However, the uncertainty is down to whether a deal can be reached between the British government and the EU.

As we have highlighted above, Green Cards will only be required in the case of a “no deal” Brexit. So it’s important that you keep an eye on the news as some important dates come up e.g. 12th April.

Switching Saturday Section of Irish Independent Features Customer Who Saved €485

A customer who saved €485 on her car insurance quote with us was recently featured in the Switching Saturday section of the Irish Independent.

The lady in question saved just over 50% on her policy by switching with us.

This is a great example of how shopping around when renewing your policy can save you significant amounts.

We constantly see cases like this when people who have been quoted high premiums by their existing insurance company get a quote with us.

It is commonplace to see similar savings.

The lesson to take is not to accept the first quote from your insurance provider. Get quotes from multiple companies.

As seen in the Irish Independent piece, we can get quotes from a number of insurance companies for you.  This can help you save on your premium.

The full article can be read here:

Using drones to combat insurance fraud

Momentum continues to build around the ways drones could change insurance fraud. Drones have been particularly effective in fighting workers compensation and disability fraud. The New York Post reported last year that a private investigator accessed private rural property to capture images of a man suspected of insurance fraud. Though the suspect claimed he was fully disabled, the drone took photos of him allegedly engaged in heavy physical activity.

Drones can help cut losses due to workers compensation fraud by providing quicker, cheaper and safer surveillance and documentation. Drones can also be an efficient tool for collecting a wealth of information about a property. This means insurers can better document the condition of a risk before issuing a policy. Drones provide great views of roofs, siding, windows, gutters and other components with a higher resolution than satellites or manned aircraft.

Drone data captured during or after a fire can be analysed to investigate why a fire spread the way it did. Was it wind and ventilation, was it fuel, or was it a fraudster armed with gasoline?

The biggest challenge to the use of drones in combatting insurance scams is legislation. In many countries, there are restrictions on the circumstances can be deployed.

Examples of insurance fraud

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud in the USA conservatively estimates that insurance fraud costs $80 billion a year in stolen claims, not including the social costs. When you add the lost productivity of businesses, the lost life savings of individuals and the cost to investigate and prosecute, the total figure is much higher.”

Here are some examples of fraudulent insurance claims:

Isabel Parker, the 72-year-old queen of the slip-and-fall scam, prostrated herself in department stores, supermarkets and liquor stores 49 times for claims totaling $500,000 during her long career, a sad byproduct of her gambling addiction.

Carla Patterson tried to tap a Virginia restaurant for a $500,000 insurance settlement after discovering a mouse in her vegetable soup. But the national chain investigated and found that the mouse had no soup in its lungs and had not been cooked. Patterson was sentenced to a year in prison.

Nicholas Di Puma of Walton, N.Y., torched his home and his convertible to collect on his homeowners and auto insurance. He claimed that it all started when pans on his stove ignited. After trying to extinguish the inferno with a rag, Di Puma said he threw the first pan out the door, where it landed in the backseat of his convertible. While en route to tossing the second pan outside, he tripped and the pan landed on his couch. Unbelievable? That’s what local law enforcement thought, too. He received five years of probation — and no insurance benefits, of course.

Insurance agent James Lee Graff robbed some 30,000 people of more than $40 million in stolen health insurance premiums, leaving them to pay medical bills from their own pockets. The clients paid Graff their premiums, expecting him to forward the money to the insurance company. But instead, Graff pocketed the money and issued a fake policy that looked real. But the clients remained completely uncovered.

Different types of car insurance in Ireland

Car insurance in Ireland is about protecting other road users, as opposed to protecting the driver of the insured vehicle. Car insurance is not an optional extra. It’s a legal requirement to have car insurance if you want to drive your car in a public place. Failure to have a current Certificate of Insurance when driving is a serious offence. You will incur fines, penalty points and you may be disqualified from driving.

Young drivers are considered a high risk for insurers, and the cost of car insurance in this age group is considerably higher than for others both in Ireland. However, young drivers can reduce the cost of car insurance by joining a parent’s insurance as a named driver. This will enable the young driver to establish a safety record, which is crucial when the young driver later applies for insurance in their own name.

  • The most basic insurance – “third party” – is the minimum required by law. However, this insurance leaves you open to substantial loss in the event of an accident. If you are at fault, only your passengers and the driver and passengers of the other vehicle will be compensated. Third party insurance provides no cover for damage sustained in an accident to your car or if your car is stolen or goes on fire.
  • Comprehensive insurance is the most expensive type of car insurance, and covers you for almost every eventuality: any damage done to the vehicle regardless of how it was incurred; life/accident insurance; loss of personal belongings from the car; the cost of a hired car if the insured car is off the road as a result of an accident; windscreen breakage, etc. New cars in particular should be comprehensively insured.
  • Third party, fire and theft is the most popular form of car insurance in Ireland. This covers you for loss of the vehicle through fire or theft and for any loss as a result of attempted fire or theft. Damage to property is also covered. There are also optional extras available such as windscreen breakage.

Under Non-Life Insurance Regulations, your car insurance company must issue your insurance renewal notice not less than 15 working days before the date of expiry of your insurance policy. It is also required to include with the notice your no claims discount certificate. You will need this certificate if you want to renew your car insurance with a different insurance company.

Tips on insuring your high-tech gadgets

Hi-tech gadgets are part of our everyday life. We regularly carry with us a combination of different gadgets: mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, iPods and Kindles. It is not unusual to have up to €1,000 worth of gadgets with us on a daily basis.

Because these gadgets are portable, they are also vulnerable to theft, damage and loss. So the first question you need to ask is: Can I do without my gadgets? And can I afford to replace them? If the answer is no, it is worth considering gadget insurance options.

Before taking out dedicated gadget insurance cover, you need to do your homework. Does your home insurance offer sufficient cover for gadgets? Are your gadgets already covered through warranty, travel insurance, bank account or credit card?

The first thing you should do is carefully study your existing home contents insurance cover. You need to know what protection it offers, and you need to consider the potential impact of a claim for a gadget on your home insurance no-claims bonus. Many home insurance policies offer you the option of specifying which gadgets you want to insure. Take cell phones as an example. According to independent financial researcher Defaqto, over 300 home insurance policies in the UK provide cover for mobile phones within the home as standard.

Also, check the terms of any warranty you may have on your gadgets. For example, many people take out specialist gadget cover from a retailer when they buy their hi-tech device. Mobile phone insurance has become almost standard. Just remember that this might not be the best or most cost-effective option to take.

Sometimes, purchases made by a premium credit card or packaged bank account are also covered by a special warranty. While it may seem like a good idea to have extra protection for your gadgets, doubling up on insurance is not to your advantage. Also, carefully check your travel insurance terms to see whether they include gadgets – and which ones.

Be aware that in the event of a claim, insurers usually apply a ‘single article limit’ to items, including gadgets. This is the maximum amount an insurer will pay for an item, and this may differ between item types as well as between insurers. You need to decide whether you want to include accidental damage cover for your gadgets – and make sure you read the small print so that you know precisely how the insurer defines “accidental.”

Check the excess charged by your home insurer. If the excess is greater than the value of your gadget, it may be worth paying for a replacement yourself. Remember that cover for personal belongings in a car is typically only found on fully comprehensive policies, and tends to offer rather limited payouts.

For many people, the most valuable thing about their gadget is not the gadget itself – it’s the data stored on it. The trick is to regularly back up your data, music, photos, files, contacts and other information. The cloud offers a sure way of protecting your data, while physical back-ups such as home computers and detachable hard discs can also help you ensure that the loss of the gadget does not mean the loss of valuable data.

Understanding The Psychology of Driving

When you have been behind the wheels you must have often said to yourself;” Its fun being reckless. It is alright to do anything on the road as long as I am out of trouble. Who cares about exceeding the speed limit. Speed is true excitement” A significant section of male drivers will agree to have raced a car on a public road leading to fatalities as indicated in the graph above. Clearly, our attitude to the world around influences our driving to a large extent. It is our perceptions about ourselves and the external authority which effect our driving. At times few of us may feel that the speeding limits are too restrictive spoiling the fun of fast driving. But on the contrary, these limits have been imposed to ensure our safety on the roads which few of us realize.

A motorist’s psychology

Drivers can be categorized into two categories; the reptilian drivers and the cortical drivers. When a motorist tries to merge into a lane, a cortical driver may get annoyed but tell himself that there is nothing he can do about it. On the other hand a reptilian driver will drive aggressively with the thought that he needs to get ahead of the motorist.

However, this quote sums up the true essence of being behind the wheels for all drivers, “The fights with his machine often lead a motorist to bitter anger and sorrow. But the good side is that this creates precious qualities like patience, skill, inventiveness and courage. Our motorist will therefore accept all adversities of the road without despair but with laughter: for the automobile bestows strength of will.”

Essential figures and facts

A study undertaken by a psychologist reveals that males below 25 have reported of breaking the 60km speed limit for more than 10 kilometers. Some have reported of breaking the 120km speed limit and overtaking a car when it has been maintaining the right speed for a particular condition. In real life if you have been driving for a while you will be able to relate to incidents when you have witnessed obscenities flying from the driver’s mouth or a level headed woman suddenly turning into a road warrior much to your disbelief. Situations such as these can be classified under road rage which can worsen your experience while driving.

To tackle road rage avoid eye contact with the other driver and try to move away as soon as you can . To meet the challenges of driving, it is essential that you develop your cognitive skills. At the same time, by making the endeavor to hone your driving skills and practicing defensive driving you can ensure greater safety on the road. Predictably, this insight into the psychology of driving will help you to drive better.

Essential Child Car Safety Tips You Must Know

A survey on child car safety reveals some sobering facts. In 2011, in United States alone more than 650 children below the age of 12 years lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. An alarming 33% of the children who died in the crash were not buckled up. The use of car seat reduced the risk of death for the infants by a sharp 71%. When booster seats were used, it reduced the risk of serious injury by 45% for children aged between 4 to 8 years. These statistics indicate the vital importance of buckling children properly in their car seats.

Exercise precaution

Know which safety precaution is ideal for your child after into take into consideration the stage they are in. Make sure that you install the car seats and the booster seats after consulting a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. You must not seat your children in front of an air bag. If your children are riding in the front eat, the detonation of the air bag can pose a serious threat. It is surprising to note the awareness gap which exists. Although 96% of parents believe that they have installed the child safety seats correctly, only a small 10% of the children are properly restrained.

Install the right safety seats

There are some common mistakes we make when installing child safety seats. Most of the times we do not use the child safety seat which is appropriate for the child’s size and age. Additionally, it is important that we place the seat in the right direction. Using a defective or a broken child safety seat can give rise to serious accidents and compromise your little one’s safety. It has been seen that using booster seats is safer for kids than restraining them with a seat belt alone. In addition to the safety measures, one should also take a car insurance that covers all third party from injuries, damages & roadside assistance.

Ensure that the kids are happy

Driving with bored and unhappy children can be very distracting. It can make it difficult for you to concentrate and drive safely. Take a little time out to chat while you drive. This will distract your child. Do not forget to point out of the window, ask your tot to sing along with you or recite his favorite nursery rhyme. It can help a great deal if you praise your child for exhibiting good car behavior. If he has not tried to wriggle out of the seatbelt or has not been playing with the locks, he deserves a praise during the journey for the great behavior. If you want to focus on your driving better, store mgnetic board games and coloring books in the back of the car.
It is recommended that you have a stock of goodies in your car which will keep your child busy. Double check to ensure that the seat belt has not been fastened too tightly which can cause discomfort to your child. Driving is a big responsibility and the risks are higher when you have a child with you in the car.

Setanta Insurance Customers Please Read

We deeply regret the closing of Setanta Insurance and the impact that this is having on those customers of ours insured with the company.  We are also very sorry for the people who are employed by Setanta and whose job future is now uncertain, a sad time for them.

If you are one of our existing Setanta Insurance customers we are arranging cover with an alternate insurer on your behalf. We are ringing every customer who has provided us with a phone number – we need to speak to those who have yet to make contact with us to explain the cover options available.

Please phone us on 0818 22 44 33 to speak to us about your insurance, the sooner we place your business elsewhere and cancel your Setanta policy the sooner we can request a refund from Setanta for you.  It is uncertain the level of refund that Setanta will be able to pay; our sense is the sooner we cancel, the larger the amount that may be retrievable for you, but we cannot confirm at this time what refunds will be paid until we get further updates from Setanta.