Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch
Multi-year insurance – worth the investment?

Motor insurance is a hot topic at the moment, with prices rising and Irish consumers becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of a solution. And the hurt is set to continue – last month, the Irish Independent reported that premiums are likely to rise again next year by as much as 38% unless the government intervenes.

Writing in The Irish Times this week, Fiona Reddan examines the positives and negatives of multi-year policies within the more stable home insurance market. Though those who lock in rates for a period longer than one year can take advantage of reduced fees, if prices fall and your premiums are locked in, you might well lose money.

Consumer sentiment dips

Although Irish consumer confidence declined somewhat in July, the fall wasn’t quite as sharp as some may have feared in the wake of Brexit. According to the latest KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment survey, Irish consumers were more positive about their household finances and immediate spending plans than the general state of the economy.

“While, the UK referendum result has had a dramatic impact on financial markets and prompted an exceptional amount of media commentary in Ireland and elsewhere, the immediate implications for the average Irish consumer might be seen as notably less concrete than other developments that typically weigh on sentiment such as news of major job layoffs or the prospect of looming changes in key areas of public spending or taxation,” the report stated.

Medical relief

Finally, Irish people may be missing out on ‘free money’ by not claiming tax relief on their medical expenses, according to the Irish Independent’s Charlie Weston. Citing a survey by Taxback.com which found that 60% fail to claim tax refunds to which they are entitled, Weston notes that tax relief is calculated at 20%, and claimants are required to retain receipts for a period of six years.

According to Citizens Information, tax relief can be claimed on a number of expenses, including doctor and consultant fees, speech and language therapy for qualified children, prescribed drugs and medicines, and physiotherapy.

 

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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