Home Insurance – BOI Promise to beat your current renewal quote by €50

 Bank Of Ireland are running a promotion on home insurance at the moment – and they are promising  to beat your current home insurance renewal quote by at least €50.

The offer applies to  insurance policies  for owner-occupied or buy-to-let properties, that cover both Buildings and Contents.

The insurance renewal with your existing insurer must match the cover levels provided by the Bank of Ireland insurance quotation, including the sums insured for Buildings & Contents, Accidental Damage, Specified All Risks and Policy Excess;

BOI promise to beat the renewal premium offered by your existing insurer and save you at least €50, provided that you buy the Bank of Ireland  policy.  You can get a quote online at the Bank of Ireland website


What’s the catch?
The only thing is – that the minimum price with BOI offer  is €231 a year – so if your current home insurance renewal is less than that you may as well stick with it.

The actual price of the Bank of Ireland policy might be more expensive than the renewal quote from your current insurer - BUT … Bank of Ireland will pay you back  the difference.

For example – if the  BOI quotation is dearer than your existing insurer, they  will pay you back the difference plus €50.(after you take up the BOI policy)
If the BOI quotation is the same as your existing insurer, they will pay you back €50.
If the BOI  quotation is less than €50 cheaper than your existing insurer, BOI will pay you the difference to make up the value of €50;

To qualify for the offer you must send BOI  your current renewal offer, showing existing cover levels and premium details from your current insurer.  BOI aill provide a pre-paid, addressed envelope in your cover confirmation pack.

If the policy is cancelled, for any reason, within 12 months of the start date, BOI  reserve the right to reclaim any payback made .

This offer runs until December 31st 2014 and is only  available to new policies, for the first year only and is not available in conjunction with any other offer.

More discounts and bargain alerts here.

Our top Money Saving Tips .

Rebates on Water Charges – Worth up to €44 Million

Until homes have water meters installed – their water charges will be a flat rate based on the number of adults in the household.  See Unmetered Charges Here .

Many people think this is unfair because it gives them no incentive to save water and no way to benefit financially if they do .

There is some good news for the 600,000 or so people who are due to get meters installed at some time in the next 2 years.
There is a Rebate scheme that will be put in place – which will automatically refund people who end up paying more on the unmetered charge than they do on a meter.  There are a few terms and conditions – such as :

a) You have to have been paying unmetered charges for a minimum of 3 months.

b) You have to be on metered charges for  at least 6 months  (3 months if you move house)

c) You must have confirmed occupancy details to Irish Water before charging began.

Irish Water say they will apply any entitled rebate as a once off credit from July 2015 onwards.

There is no need to apply and no minimum rebate. (We understand)

For example if someone has paidthe  total unmetered charges of €381  for a year – then they  go onto  metered billing in October 2015
That unmetered charge was  based on  “assessed” usage of 108,000 litres a year.

If , after 6 months on a meter ,  their average usage  actually works out at 90,000 – then they will be entitled to a rebate equivalent to 18,000 litres a year.
In this example – an annual metered bill  for 90,000 (with free allowances) would be  €293  – so the rebate would be  €88.
They should get this rebate on the first bill after the 6 months period expires. (So that would be in April/May 2016).
August 2017 .
We have seen figures from Irish Water that show they expect rebates to total €44  Million by the end of  August 2017.  They estimate that they will be paying out average rebates of €2.5 million a month from April 2016 to Aug 2017.

Unmetered Water Charge of €424 if Forms Not Returned

The water charges that were proposed back in July have been agreed today by the regulator. The main rates and allowances are the same as was proposed.

One of the things that was always in the proposals – and that still stands – is that any household that does not return a completed “application pack” will be charged more.

Unmetered Homes:
Householders without meters that do not respond will be charged the full amount (water and waste water) for two adults without the free allowance – i.e. an annual charge of €424. (For large households that could work out cheaper in some cases!)

If the form is returned but no PPSN is supplied for the account holder – the unmetered charge will be increased by €146.40 because the free allowance will not be given.  Details of Unmetered Charges Here

Metered Homes
Non responding households with a meter will be charged as per their metered usage rates – but they will not be given any free allowances for children or for the household.  The free household water allowance is  30,000 litres  a year and is  worth upto €146.40 a year per household. The childrens water allowance of 21,000 litres   is worth upto €102 per child per year. So a metered household of 2 adults and 2 children who don’t supply PPS numbers could end up being billed  €350 more a year for water.

More about The Water Charges

How Much WIll it Cost to Have a Shower?

We now have a much better idea of exactly how water charges will be calculated  now that the rates have been agreed by the regulator.
Charging for water is due to start on 1st October 2014 and the first bills will be out in the first quarter of 2015.
Details of the Metered Irish Water Charges here

There will be no standing charge . (There will  be a minimum charge levied on vacant or holiday homes.) . In theory – with no standing charge it will be possible for some single person households who don’t use much water to end up paying no water charge as long as they don’t exceed the free allowance (See below).
We have estimated that a single person could pay nothing  – but they would have to be sparing with their usage. They could keep within the free allowance if they had a 5 minute shower just twice a week , used the washing machine twice a week and flushed the toilet  just 3 times a day and that would leave them with just 25l a day for drinks and washing/cleaning.

Free Allowances
The first 30,000 litres a year will be free per household  (not per adult) .
There is also a  free allowance of  21000 litres per child under 18.
Forms will be sent to all homes to request details of PPS numbers of all the adults and children living there – so they can work out the free allowances  for metered homes and the assessed charges for unmetered homes.

To help put it in context – the free allowance for all the adults in a house works out at  80 litres  a day which could be used up by one person  having a power shower for just 5 minutes. Just having a daily 5 minute normal (non power) shower and flushing the toilet five times  a day  would also use up the adult daily free allowance.

The annual free allowance for a child is  21000 litres -  or 57 litres a day. This might be fine for babies and smaller children but many teenagers would easily exceed this allowance once they have been in a power shower for just 4 minutes.

Metered Charge
The metered charge for every 1000 litres of water over  the allocated free allowance is €4.88. This is for a home connected to both mains water and the mains sewerage. (About 1.1 million homes)
To give you some idea of how that works out in meaningful terms -  we have estimated the amounts you could be charged for the following after you have used up the free allowance…

Baths:   having just 2 baths a week would use 10000l and cost €51 a year
A daily 10 Min Power Shower€284 a year.
Toilet Flush – 3 people flushing just 4 times each a day -  €170 a year
Washing Machine:  running it once a day will use 27000l and cost €133 a year
Dishwasher running it  twice a day would cost €56 a year in water charges.

Note: For a home that  has a septic tank or waste water treatment system – the above charges would be half the figure shown in all cases.

The first €146 worth of water would be covered by the free 30,000 l allowance

Unmetered Charges (Flat Rate)
There will always be some properties where meters won’t ever be installed (about 300,000). Also – while the meter installations proceed – there will be tens of thousands of homes that won’t have a water meter until after billing begins. These properties will have their water bills “assessed”   This “assessed” bill  will be a flat rate figure based on the number of occupants (adults and children). See the details of the Assessed Water Charges Here

VAT on Water :  Revenue have confirmed that the current VAT exemption which applies to the supply of water by local authorities has been extended to apply to water supplied by Irish Water with effect from 1 January 2014. So there will be no VAT added to the water supply component of the  bills. VAT is not currently charged on wastewater services for businesses – and we understand that this VAT exemption should  also apply to domestic customers.  So – there will hopefully be no VAT on water bills.

Help for Low Income Households

The Government have confirmed that an extra €100 will be added  to the Household Benefits Package to help pay for Water Charges . This package is paid to about 413,000 people – all over 70′s , people aged 66 to 70 on low incomes,  people on diabaility allowance or invalidity pension and some carers.

If a single pensioner was to use  less water than the free allowance of 30,000 litres – then  their water bill will be zero. They could even end up in profit after getting the €100 payment (if it is paid in cash and not deducted from bills)

People on Social Welfare who don’t qualify for the Household Benefits package will be charged the full amount for their water bills. The only possible help available is the  exceptional needs payment system . This is a scheme through which a single payment can be provided to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure which a person “could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income”.

More here on Who Will Pay Water Charges

More here on Water Charge Exemptions

Figures We Have Used in Calculation of Estimated Water Usage and Charges
Toilet Flush assumed an   8l cistern
Bath – a failrly deep bath of 100l assumed.
Shower (non power) assumed flow of 8l per min
Power Shower – assumed flow of 16l per min
Washing Machine – assumed 1 load  = 75l
Dish Washer – assumed a load = 16l
Personal Hygeine and drinks  assumed 175l per week