MAKE ME RICHER with Sarah Stack


You've scrimped and saved for a deposit, finally spotted your dream home and what's more, even in today's crazy housing market, your offer has been accepted. Result. So what will the monthly repayments be for a first-time buyer on a fixed interest rate? We compared results for a 25-year mortgage of €270,000, after you set aside €30,000 for a deposit, on www.bonkers.ie

Best: €1,423.67 KBC
Avoid: €1,530 ICS
Save: €106.33 a month www.kbc.ie / www.bonkers.ie

Travel insurance

So you're about to go on your summer holidays just as the sun comes out at home. At least you'll be away from the stresses and strains of life, so long as nothing goes wrong. But that's why you need travel cover. If you're a frequent traveller it's cheaper to get annual cover, so you never forget to renew your policy. But our 18- to 65-year-old, who also has permanent health insurance, is just looking to cover one week in Europe.

Best: €7.50 Get Cover
Avoid: €20.70 Blue Insurance

Home insurance

While you are not legally obliged to have house insurance, some mortgage providers may insist that you at least have buildings cover if your home in destroyed. Too often we hear of a family home being gutted by a blaze, with the homeowners having little or no cover.

We priced home insurance for a property in Knocklyon, Dublin 16, worth €340,000. It had a standard alarm and the policy includes buildings cover of €230,000 and €40,000 contents cover. The excess is €300. The homeowners, a 47-year-old couple, have had no claims in the last five years.

Best: €210 Chrome
Avoid: €409 Zurich Broker
Save: €199 a year

Van insurance

It's been a while since we looked at white van man, and what he pays in insurance compared with the rest of us. Our electrician, who lives in Co Wicklow, drives a 2007 Volkswagen Caddy worth about €5,000. The 51-year-old has more than five years no claims, but has two penalty points. How much is fully comprehensive cover with windscreen and breakdown assistance, and Open drive for anyone over the age of 25 who has a full licence.

Best: €296 www.insuremyvan.ie
Avoid: €439 RSA
Save: €143 www.insuremyvan.ie 

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