White Christmas? 6 Things To Do To Keep Your Home Safe As Soon As It Starts To Snow

The kids may be in a festive mood, but grown-ups know all too well the holiday season can spell home insurance nightmares if things go wrong.

Burglaries are enough to worry about during the winter months – but complications from bad weather is also an increasing concern as climate change means our winters are more intense.

Luckily, there are many things adults can do to keep things running smoothly so they can feel like a kid at Christmas.

Prevent freezing pipes

Water expands as it freezes, and if your pipes get cold enough the ice inside will make them crack and burst. This also happens if pressure builds up behind a chunk of ice – for example, if a pipe develops ice outdoors but runs into your home where it’s warmer.

Burst pipes cause massive damage and potentially catastrophic claims, so keep taps dripping in very cold weather to prevent ice build-up. Drain water from outdoor taps and cover them with foam insulation (or an old sock), and disconnect and store hosepipes and sprinkler systems.

Also, make sure to insulate water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home, such as the loft, cellar, or garage.

Stop ice dams

Ice dams form when heat escapes through your roof and melts any settled snow. This water flows to your roof’s edge and refreezes, usually at the eaves. Those pretty icicles? They’re a sign a nasty ice dam is forming underneath – and slowly melting snow can’t properly drain, potentially causing a leak in your roof and water damage in your home.

Clogged gutters and downspouts are the number one cause of ice dams, so clear them of autumn leaves soon before the first snow to keep things flowing as they should. Insulate your attic well so that snow isn’t melted by escaping heat, and you’ll enjoy the added benefit of lower energy bills.

Clean fireplaces and chimneys

If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning stove or real fireplace, check it’s clean and free of birds’ nests before you before you light up your first cosy fire of the season.

One danger of an unswept chimney is that soot and debris may catch fire. Get in a professional chimney sweep to do the job, and keep your home’s warm air from escaping out the chimney when you’re not using it by keeping the flue closed all the way. If it’s working properly, you shouldn’t be able to feel any cold air coming down the chimney.

Stock up on winter essentials

We don’t mean chocolate oranges and Baileys (although, ‘tis the season) – there are several inexpensive household items that are even more important to keep around if you see a heavy grey sky this winter.

Snow and storms bring power cuts, shut shops and slips and falls. You’ll need candles and plenty of matches or lighters (with enough fuel), a well-stocked first aid kit including personal medication to last a couple of weeks, non-perishable food for a minimum of three to five days (including baby formula if you need it), bottles of water, toilet paper, soap, lots of blankets, torches plus extra batteries. It’s also good to have a working, fully charged fire extinguisher, as well as sand, road salt, and a shovel.

Clear paths and walkways

Even if you don’t plan to venture outside in the snow and ice, you may still be liable if someone injures themselves on your property and it’s best to keep walkways clear in case of emergency.

Road and path salt is readily available from many shops, and you should sprinkle this at the first sign of snow. You may have heard that cat litter makes a cost-effective solution – it does not, and the clumping kind is especially useless for traction.

You should also shovel driveways and the pavement outside your house – or ask the kids to do it for a bit of extra pocket money.

Inspect your security

You don’t need to be going away on vacation to be vulnerable over Christmas. It’s a notoriously high-crime time of year, and even occupied houses are more likely to be hit – so secure your house now to make it unattractive for opportunists.

Lock all garden gates and entry points you’re unlikely to use over winter, such as garages or outbuildings if they contain tools that are valuable or easy to grab – a burglar may use them to force entry. Make sure outdoor lights are working, consider investing in a home alarm system, and don’t leave packaging from large or expensive gifts outside: stuff it down into the appropriate recycling bin, covered by less attractive rubbish.

Use these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free Christmas without having to worry about the weather, intruders, or emergencies.

What to do when something goes wrong?

That’s why you have home insurance in place.  It gives you peace of mind, knowing when something happens, that you are covered!  Remember, it’s important to check with your insurer what level of cover you have in place for your property and contents. You can do this anytime not just at renewal time.

Talk to Us in QuoteMe.ie with any of your Home Insurance Questions

If you have any questions regarding your home insurance please call us on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051 and talk to one of our Home 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. Enjoy the festivities and Merry Christmas to you and your family. We look forward to hearing from you.

How To Keep Your Home Safe If You’re Heading Away For The Festive Season

If you’re on holiday for Christmas or New Year’s, you’ll be aware this can be a particularly dangerous time when it comes to theft and burglary.

Not everyone has enough Christmas spirit, and if you don’t protect your home well enough you may come back to a nasty surprise.

Read our handy guide to keeping your home and treasured items (as well as those gifts) safe this festive season.

Tell a trusted neighbour

If you have a neighbour or loved one that you trust nearby, let them know you’ll be gone and ask them to keep an eye on your property. Give them your phone number in case of emergency, but let them know to always call the police first in case they see anything suspicious.

If you feel comfortable, you can also give your neighbour a spare key and ask them to visit every so often to show a presence, switch lights on and off, and open and close curtains, or take the bins out.

Get rid of giveaway boxes

Large or expensive items such as new TV’s, computers, luxury clothes or designer jewellery can come with a lot of large, flashy packaging. If you leave this out for kerbside recycling, a thief can simply walk along and check your bin for evidence that your home is worth breaking into.

This is a particualrly pertinent point at this time of year – so remember to break down this kind of packaging, and cover it in the bin with plain cardboard or household recycling.

Better still, do a run to the dump or recycling facility before you go. And never, ever leave large boxes that are too big to be broken down behind your bins!

Install smart lights

Smart lights make it easy to set up an “away” routine so it looks like the house is occupied, even when it’s not.

Systems like Philips Hue or LifX are incredibly simple to set up – no wiring is required – and they work with remote assistants like Google Home and Alexa.

Smart lights can be controlled by an app wherever you are, so if you’re worried about a savvy burglar working out the lights are automated, you can switch them on and off at random – or even set them to a randomised schedule.

Nothing will deter a watching burglar more than seeing the toilet light come on at 2.34am, then going off again three minutes later…

Buy a video doorbell

If a thief is bold enough to knock on the door to determine whether your property is occupied, a doorbell with a video and speaker function will let them know someone is watching.

These doorbells allow you to view whoever is at the door from your phone, wherever you are, and ones with speaker functions let you hear and speak as well.

Tell them you’re home, and they’ll be none the wiser. Though most of them are savvy enough to avoid houses with these devices altogether, and look elsewhere for some easy pickings.

Set up an alarm system

Home alarm systems are now highly secure, and some of the most modern solutions come with smart technology that alerts you to suspicious activity wherever you are.

Some are discrete, while others are large and brightly coloured to deter would-be intruders. More importantly, though, many are able to send still images or even video of the intruders to your phone, and automatically alert the alarm central monitoring station, or indeed the guards – and the added security will generally reduce your home insurance premium.

Pause the post

If you’ll be away for a long time, guard against post piling up in plain sight by asking the postal service to pause delivery and keep your mail safe until you’re back.

If you’ve got a glass door or external postbox, too many letters are a dead giveaway your home is unoccupied. If you’re only away for a few days, consider investing in a letterbox cage to keep them off the floor – and at very least, add it to the checklist for your visiting neighbour.

Lock, lock and double-lock

It’s common sense – to the point where we need hardly say it – but you’d be surprised how often these things get missed.

When you leave, lock every possible entry into your home, including deadbolts. This isn’t just common sense; it has a real and material impact on the amount you can expect to pay for your home insurance premium.

You might not consider a second-floor window left ajar when you leave for work, but if a burglar spots it – or notices that no one comes to close it after a couple of days, particularly in the dead of winter – it could be both a giveaway and a point of entry.

Get rid of the ‘hidden’ keys in the garden

While great in an emergency, spare keys hidden in the garden can let a burglar into your house as easily as possible – and even worse, your insurance cover may be affected if you’ve left keys in plain sight.

Ideally take the keys with you, or lock them up inside the home, if you’ve not given them to a neighbour or house sitter.

At the very least make sure they’re not hidden anywhere obvious like a fake rock or under the mat. We’ve heard of people burying them in flowerbeds, in small tupperware boxes or cling film – which may not be particularly convenient when you’re returning home from the Christmas party at 1am without your keys, but might just keep your house that bit more secure.

Taking these simple measures will give you peace of mind to enjoy the festive season. Opportunistic thieves take no holidays, so make sure you make your property the hardest one possible to break into.

How to protect your home and contents

It’s essential that you have the correct level of Home Insurance in place for your house and contents. You may also have valuable items that you would like covered such as jewelery or home appliances. You should talk to your insurer to ensure that these items are covered. There may be an additional cost on your Home Insurance to cover these items.

Talk to Us in QuoteMe.ie with any of your Home Insurance Questions

If you have any questions regarding your home insurance please call us on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051 and talk to one of our Home 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 hearing from you.

Second Car Insurance in Ireland – How to Insure Your Second Car

So you have a second car and wish to get second car insurance. This is very straightforward.

You need to take out a separate car insurance policy to cover your second car.

Multi-Car Insurance Process

However, you can only insure one car per policy. Because of this, you can only use one no claims bonus per policy.

As a result, you must have two no claims bonuses if you are insuring two cars. If you are taking out second car insurance for the first time you will have zero no claims bonus on your second car.

No Claims Bonus Second Car Insurance – One Per Car

Unfortunately, you cannot use your no claims bonus on your second car. So, when you are insuring a second car for the first time you start a zero no claims bonus for your second car. You then build this up on the second car over time.

Benefits of Having Second Car Insurance

You can get the same benefits as the car insurance policy you have on your first car such as breakdown assistance, European cover, step back no claims, windscreen cover.

How to Get Cover

If you have any questions at all regarding your car insurance call us on 0818 224433 and talk to our qualified insurance advisors who will help you find the best cover for your second car insurance policy. You can also use our quote engine get an instant Car Insurance quote online in seconds. We compare the market for you to find the best car insurance cover for you. We look forward to hearing from you today.

What is “Fronting” And How Does It Affect You?

Fronting is the process of registering an experienced driver on a car insurance policy as the main driver while the less experienced driver is the named driver. However, the driver with less experience is actually the main driver of the car.

Common Cases of Fronting on Car Insurance policies

Typically, this is when a parent lists as the main driver for their child’s car.

This is actually fraudulent and ultimately will affect policies for honest people.

Many people are not aware of the consequences of fronting.

Criminals Use Fronting

However, there is a more nefarious use of fronting car insurance. Criminals often use it to get somebody else to insure themselves and then get added to the policy at a later date.

With the criminal element, there is also the risk of forged documentation.

At Quoteme.ie, we are regulated with the Central Bank of Ireland. We employ rigorous anti-fraud measures which are required.

As with all insurance fraud, the people that are affected the most are legitimate policyholders. Ultimately premiums are higher.

Conclusion – It’s is Not Worth the Risk

Yes, there may be short term savings. Your policy can be void. You will be required to pay full damages. Added to this the fact that you may be charged with insurance fraud and get a criminal conviction, the risk is simply not worth it.

If you have any questions regarding your car insurance policy contact us on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051 and our car insurance experts will answer all your queries. You can also use our instant car insurance quote engine to get quotes from across the market. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

Temporary Car Insurance – How To Get Cover in Ireland

What is Temporary Car Insurance?

Temporary car insurance provides car insurance cover from one hour to twenty-eight days. It is ideal if you need to drive a car, van or another vehicle for a specific period of time.

What You Need to Know About Temporary Car Insurance.

Like any car insurance policy, you need to read it and be aware of what exactly the policy covers. Also, you must consider any excess on the policy.

It is important that you stay within any mileage limits. If you exceed the mileage terms on your policy you won’t be insured. Obviously, this will lead to problems if you have an accident.

Another common issue is not keeping a note of the exact time your policy ends. It is crucial that you know when your policy finishes to the minute.

You have no coverage after this time. If you drive one second after this time, you are driving uninsured and therefore breaking the law.

Young Drivers

It is more difficult for young drivers than older drivers to get temporary car insurance.

Yes, we know that young drivers get the brunt of it. This can be difficult. If there is an option for an older driver to take out the policy and drive the car then this should be considered.

However, it is often unavoidable that the young driver needs to get cover. In this case, call us and we will try to find you a good quote.

Duration of Car Insurance Cover

You must be aware when your policy ends. You will not be insured after that cut off point.

We touched on this earlier. This is so important. Make sure you don’t make a mistake here.

Comprehensive cover is rare

Third-party fire and theft is by far the most common policy type available. It is difficult to get comprehensive car insurance on this type of policy.

Limit on Miles

A mileage limit is often set. You cannot go over this limit. If you will be driving the car a lot make sure you submit a fair assessment of the miles you will be doing.

We can help. Talk to us and we will find a policy that meets your mileage requirements.

Is short term car insurance available in Ireland?

Yes, but in a lot of cases, it can be difficult to get cover.  Call us today and we will see if we can help you get the car insurance cover you require.

Call us now on and talk to one of our Car Insurance experts on 0818 224433. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance – 9 Factors That Can Help

Let’s face it. More needs to be done to bring down the cost of car insurance in Ireland. Unfortunately, getting cheap car insurance involves many factors.

Personal Injuries Settlements and the Cost of Car Insurance

Our CEO, Caeva O’Callaghan has been an outspoken advocate for the reform of the Personal Injuries system in Ireland.

She appeared as a guest on the Pat Kenny Show, Monday July 16th on Newstalk and spoke on the subject.

Hear our CEO, Caeva O’Callagan on The Pat Kenny Show.

The Book of Quantum is discussed. You can download it here.

How to Get a Cheaper Car Insurance Quote

Outside of changes to Personal Injury legislation, what can you do to reduce your car insurance premium?

1. Get a smaller car – Smaller engined vehicles normally are cheaper to insure.

If you drive a smaller car your policy is likely to be cheaper. Therefore, think about buying a smaller vehicle.

2. Buy a newer car – Significant savings can be made.

Old cars cost more to insure. The trend that we see is that car insurance companies prefer to insure newer cars. Car Insurance Quotes for relatively new cars reflect this by being cheaper than quotes for older cars.
As a result, look at the cost of buying a newer car while considering the cheaper insurance quotes you will receive.

3. Don’t drive an electric car.

Electric cars and hybrids are more expensive to insure. Insurance companies say that the cost of repair is higher for these cars. Therefore, this must be reflected in their policy quote.

4. Become middle-aged – middle-aged people have cheaper car insurance

Well, generally people over 25 have cheaper car insurance.  If you are under 25 you probably consider people over 25 consider middle-aged.
If you are a young driver, although you can’t do anything about it now. You may get some satisfaction that in years to come you may be paying less for car insurance.

5. Move to Donegal

Fantastic cliffs and cheap car insurance. Areas with less traffic and lower levels of crime will help bring your car insurance.
Therefore, moving to an area with those criteria may help to reduce your car insurance quote.

6. Get a boring job – Office workers who don’t drive for a living get cheaper quotes.

So, when you have been asked by your boss to alphabetically file last years orders. Just remember that you are likely to have cheaper car insurance than the flashy salesperson upstairs.

7. Nul Points  – No points on your licence

Self-explanatory. It’s not the Eurovision so no points are a good thing with respect to cheaper car insurance quotes.

8. Have a No Claims bonus – substantial reductions here

Some insurers give no-claims discounts of over 70%. As you can see substantial savings can be made.

9. Compare Car Insurance Quotes

It’s common sense. Get car insurance quotes from multiple insurers. Therefore, you can select the best quote.
Use QuoteMe.ie Quote Engine to Get the Best Car Insurance Quote

Personal Injury Settlements – Car Insurance Prices

As you can see, for some instances you can’t do much about your situation. It’s not practical or possible to change the type of work you do or where you live.
However, by reforming Person Injury legislation and also reducing insurance fraud can help everybody who is looking for a cheaper insurance policy.

Talk to Us

If you have any questions on Car Insurance call us on 042 9359051.  We are always happy to help.

 

Holiday Home Insurance – Get A Cheap Quote

How to Get Holiday Home Insurance

The process of insuring your holiday home is slightly different to that of your main home. Standard buildings and content insurance is only valid if the building is left empty for less than 30 days at a time. If your holiday home is left unoccupied for longer than that e.g. you only stay there for one month a year, then you require special policy for your holiday home.

This can often result in a slightly higher cost than expected but thankfully you can use our online home insurance quote comparison tool to find holiday home cover that suits you.

Holiday Home Insurance – Cover Options

The cover options are more or less the same as normal home insurance.

Buildings and Contents Cover

The most popular home insurance cover. This covers the main building i.e. the home and any outbuildings such as a cabin or patio. The contents portion of the cover insures your personal belongings and any other contents of the house.

Buildings Cover

This covers the domestic buildings of your property only.

Contents Cover

This covers the contents of the buildings and not the buildings themselves. This is a popular policy with renters. Note that some items are not covered by the contents cover. Tools and gardening equipment are usually not included in this type of cover. Similarly, any exceptionally valuable items will require separate insurance cover.

If you are unsure about what policy you need for your holiday home do not hesitate to contact our trusted team of advisors at 042 9359051.

Policy Excess – Holiday Home Insurance

Before you take out your holiday home cover, you need to think about your policy excess. Insurance companies take this into account when calculating your premium.

This is the amount you will pay towards repairs before the insurer pays. The lower the excess you are willing to pay, the higher your premium will be.

Again if you are unsure about your policy excess then don’t hesitate to call and talk to us about your holiday home insurance on 042 9359051.

 

Home Insurance and Flooding, Climate Change and Increased Risk

Home Insurance and Flooding

A recent study by location intelligence company Gamma shows that over 60,000 Irish homes are at risk of flooding due to climate change.

In many cases, insurers will refuse to cover homes with flood cover in areas that are considered to be on a floodplain.

Even houses that have not been damaged by flooding but are in an area that neighbouring houses have been damaged could be refused cover.

What if Your House is Built in an Area Susceptible to Flooding?

In this case, your local government officials can help.

Insurance Ireland signed a memorandum of understanding with the Office of Public Works. This is a commitment by the Insurance Industry to maintain or extend flood insurance over in defended areas.

Flood defences will be required. But if they are installed the insurance industry will recognise this and extend cover if appropriate.

Level of Flood Cover in Ireland

Currently, around 98% of home insurance policies in Ireland have Flood cover. As climate change causes water levels to rise there may be more properties at risk.

As a result, unless climate change slows or there is an increased level of flood defence construction. Flood insurance will be a greater consideration when looking for home insurance.

Talk to Us

If you have any questions on flood cover or home insurance call us on 042 9359051.  We are always happy to help.

 

 

 

AXA Home Insurance – Background & Review

AXA Home Insurance – Introduction

AXA is one of the largest and oldest insurance companies in the world. They offer a broad range of products and services here in Ireland including home insurance and car insurance.

They have over 650,000 customers in Ireland at the moment. Their Irish head office is is based in Wolfe Tone House, Dublin 1.

Background: AXA Insurance

Established in Normandy, France in 1958 by Claude Bebear, AXA has grown to be one of the largest insurance companies in the world.

The company now has 160,000 employees and 105 million customers worldwide. They have offices in 62 countries across the globe with largest presence in Europe, North America and Asia.

AXA Ireland has been in operation since 1999 and they currently have 42 branches. They previously operated under the names of GRE, Guardian, PMPA and indeed New PMPA.

They are vastly experienced with home insurance and one of our most popular providers.

Review of AXA Home Insurance

We highly recommend AXA home insurance to our customers. They are one of the most trusted providers in Ireland and we have sold a number of their policies recently.

AXA offers a whole range of added benefits with their home insurance policies.

They offer three types of home insurance: Buildings & Content Insurance, Buildings Only Insurance and Contents Only Insurance. All of these policies come with emergency call out assistance as standard, a claims helpline and an alternative accommodation promise.

In addition, AXA offers cover for lock damage, fire brigade call-outs, accidental damage to glass and garden contents.

We are very confident in recommending AXA home insurance policies to our customers.

Rating: 5/5

Save on AXA Home Insurance

Our online quote comparison tool will let you know whether a AXA Home Insurance policy is the right fit for your needs.  This tool gives you a list of the most suitable policies for you.  Most significantly it gives a breakdown of the price of each insurance policy available to you.

Additionally you can give us a call on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. Talk to one of our insurance advisors who will be delighted to help.

Compare Home Insurance Quotes

There can be drastic differences in home insurance quotes so we recommend that you use our comparison tool to find the best price for you. If a quote from AXA Home Insurance is within your budget, then we highly recommend that you choose them.

They are a company with great customer service – particularly in the handling of claims. They have a great reputation and a range of insurance cover that will suit the vast bulk of Irish home owners.

 

 

 

 

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 info@quoteme.ie. 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.