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Personal Finance

How to switch your life and health insurance and save over €500 a year

Daragh Cassidy

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

This January we're urging everyone to take the bonkers.ie Switching Challenge, where you could save as much as €5,000 a year by switching some common household bills. And who could say no to those kinds of savings? In this post we're looking at switching and saving on your life and health insurance.

When it comes to motor insurance we're never afraid to ring around to find the best deal for ourselves and switch insurer if we have to.

But for some reason this willingness to switch doesn’t extend to other forms of insurance.

So it's no surprise that recent research, carried out by TotalHealthCover.ie, has found that two out of every three health insurance members are potentially on the wrong health plan because they haven't shopped around for better value cover recently. 

Dermot Goode, Ireland’s leading health insurance consultant and MD of Totalhealthcover.ie explained his observations from the research:

“Buyer behaviour within the health insurance market continues to change with increasing numbers open to reviewing their cover and switching for better value. However, our analysis shows that still too many people do not review their health cover annually and as a result, are either paying too much for health insurance or do not have sufficient cover, or often both."

On the key issue of cost, Mr. Goode warns that many older plans in particular are outdated in terms of what they cover and can offer poor value.

As a result, the potential savings for shopping around can be huge, which is why it's important to review your health insurance cover every year, just like you would with car insurance. 

Even shopping aound for better value life insurance and mortgage protection every few years could save you a few extra quid each month. It all adds up - particularly if you're now a non smoker.

Ex-smokers can save

We all know about the health effects of smoking, and even the strain that smoking puts on the health system in general, but if you have quit smoking recently you can gain some financial benefits as well as some medical ones.

If you’re an ex-smoker who’s been off cigarettes for over 12 months, you can apply for new cover either with your current provider or a new provider on non-smoker rates. And these rates are often half the price a smoker is charged.

So if you gave up smoking last year as part of your New Year’s resolutions, now’s a good time to review your cover, and make sure you aren’t paying more money than you need to.

Colette Houton, Underwriting and Claims Lead at Royal London explains:

“As you might imagine smokers pay more in premiums for life insurance than non-smokers, due to the many damaging health effects of cigarettes, but people may not be aware of just how sizeable the difference can be between the premiums charged.

There is a massive difference in price when you consider how much the savings add up over the lifetime of the cover. So aside from the obvious health benefits of quitting publicised by medical and healthcare professionals, there are quite clear financial gains to be made, which include a potential reduction in the cost of your life insurance.”

What are the savings involved?

Let's face it health insurance isn't exactly cheap so the potential savings for shopping around can be huge.  

Below are some older health insurance plans, and newer, alternative plans which offer equally good cover. 

Insurer Dated Plan Cost Alternative  Cost
Laya Company Care Excess €1,890 Simply Connect Plus €1,250
VHI Company Plan Extra Level 2 €1,710 Company Plan Extra Level 1 €1,548
Irish Life

Business Plan Select

Business Plan Plus

€2,100 PMI 0210 €1,296

How to compare health insurance and save

  1. Visit bonkers.ie and enter some personal details 
  2. Our expert health insurance adviser will contact you to arrange an over-the-phone consultation
  3. Discuss your requirements with our expert adviser
  4. Our adviser will review your requirements against the 300+ health insurance plans on the market and give you a report listing your recommended plans
  5. Pay a one-off payment of €125 when you receive your report
  6. Sign up to your new, improved health insurance plan
  7. Enjoy your savings of up to €500 a year or more

How to compare life insurance and save

Comparing insurance quotes is easy with bonkers.ie.

Just fill in some simple details such as your age, the amount of cover you want, and the term the policy should run for using our online comparison service, and we'll compare polices from Ireland's main providers and produce a quote for you in just seconds.

Top tip when comparing health insurance

By law, a health insurer must sell you the plan you request.

Some plans like corporate plans are marketed towards certain companies or professions. You're entitled to sign up to any of these plans if you wish, even if you're not a member of the group or employee of company it's being marketed towards.

Why switch with bonkers.ie?

bonkers.ie compares plans offered by all the major health insurance companies such as Irish Life Health, Laya Healthcare and VHI.

We'll provide you with a whole-of-market health insurance comparison for just €125 and help you to find the best plan on the market for your personal needs.

Get switching

The easiest money you'll ever earn is the money that you've saved as they say so all this month we're encouraging you to take the bonkers.ie Switching Challenge, whereby switching service providers across a range of utilities you could save as much as €5,000 a year.

So start switching and saving today.

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