January represents a time to reflect on the past year and reset. As we embark on a new year we decided to take a look back at the top stories and main events of 2021.
2021 was undeniably full of ups and downs. Europe’s energy crisis took over the headlines and inflation reached a new 20-year high, but we saw positive movement in the mortgage market and new insurance measures announced.
There’s a lot to unpack from the past year, so we thought it would be a good idea to condense everything down. Here we’ve highlighted the top stories and main developments in the energy, broadband, banking and insurance industries.
Why not take a look and see what news you missed?
- With Ireland now being home to the fourth highest electricity prices in the EU, many of us are wondering why energy prices are increasing so rapidly?
- The unprecedented energy crisis resulted in Irish consumers looking to switch providers. We examined if switching suppliers is the right move and took a look at cancellation fees.
- Prepay electricity suppliers promise to save you money and help you become more energy-efficient. But are these claims too good to be true? Decide for yourself by reading about the pros and cons of pay-as-you-go-electricity.
- 2021 saw the introduction of smart meter tariffs from some of Ireland’s main electricity suppliers. You can learn all about smart meter tariffs here.
- Finding the funds to retrofit your home can be a daunting task. Explore the different loans and grants available to you for home energy-efficiency improvements.
Broadband, TV and phone
The pandemic resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before, putting added importance on the quality, speed and cost of broadband, TV and phone plans.
Take a look at the top broadband, TV and phone stories of last year:
- We compiled a list of the best SIM-only deals for Irish consumers. And to start 2022 off with a bang Virgin Mobile has also re-launched its €5 SIM-only deal.
- Choosing the correct broadband and TV bundles can be difficult. We compared what Eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone have to offer so you don’t have to!
- In our ultimate guide to Ireland’s favourite streaming services, we examined the different genres and deals these services have on offer. From reality TV to Oscar-winning movies there is something out there for everyone.
- Last year saw the expansion of 5G services throughout Ireland. We took a look at some of the 5G plans and offers available to Irish consumers.
- Having fast broadband is a priority for those working from home. We identified the 6 fastest broadband deals in Ireland so you can make a well-informed decision. We even created a tailored list aimed towards all the students out there too.
Insurance prices are increasing across the board, however, 2021 saw new measures coming in to protect Irish consumers and their pockets.
Read about some of the biggest insurance developments to hit Ireland last year:
- In February the Government announced new legislation that legalised the use of e-scooters and e-bikes on Irish roads.
- Home insurance premiums have increased due to rising rebuilding costs, leaving homeowners at risk of being underinsured.
- The final provisions of the Consumer Insurance Contract Act 2019 (CICA) came into effect at the start of September, making it harder for insurers to decline valid claims.
- 2021 saw the Central Bank banning ‘loyalty penalties’ for car and home insurance customers, with the change due to come into effect in July 2022.
- Are you a first-time driver looking for car insurance but don’t know where to start? Don’t fret! We wrote about what you need to know about taking out car insurance.
- October was a big month at bonkers.ie with the launch of our new home insurance service. You can learn about our new service in this blog! Want to secure the same rate for up to three years? You can do just that with multi-year home insurance.
From the selling of loan books to the rise of digital banking, there were numerous banking developments in 2021.
Take a look at some of our top banking stories from the past year:
- In 2021 it came to light that Ulster Bank was planning to leave the Irish market, along with KBC. We wrote about what will happen to your accounts if Ulster Bank leaves and answered some of your commonly asked questions about the closure.
- If you’ve found yourself looking for a new home for your money, take a look at our blog on which bank has the best value current account. We also wrote about how you can easily reduce your current account fees.
- If you’re seeking a form of credit that best suits you, we analysed which bank has the best credit card and the best personal loan rates.
- With interest rates on deposit accounts being almost non-existent, the prospect of negative interest rates is becoming a reality. Here’s all you need to know about negative interest rates.
The past year has had a mixed impact on our pocket. As a nation we’ve amassed huge savings, however we’re also being negatively affected by rising inflation.
Here are some of the personal finance topics we wrote about over the last 12 months:
- Central Bank figures show that in 2021, Irish consumers had a record €136 billion on deposit. With interest rates so low, many are wondering where they should house their well-earned savings. Learn about what saving options you have in this blog.
- In May, the Government approved the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on alcohol, causing much debate and confusion. Discover how the MUP on alcohol will affect your pocket here.
- The cost of living in Ireland is unfortunately on the rise. We decided to explore why Ireland is such an expensive place to live.
- Throughout 2021, Irish consumers were hit with seemingly never-ending price increases, so in December we took a look at how you can beat rising inflation.
Competition in the Irish mortgage market finally began to heat up in 2021, despite Ulster Bank and KBC exiting the Irish market. This has led to regular rate drops and a broadening of mortgage products from lenders.
Take a look at our top mortgage blogs of 2021 below:
- It was revealed last year that mortgage rates in Ireland are more than double that of the EU average. Here’s why mortgage rates in Ireland are so high.
- Trying to get your foot on the property ladder? We took a look at the best mortgage rates on offer for first-time buyers.
- Long-term fixed mortgage rates were launched by Finance Ireland and Avant Money, marking the first time fixed rates of 10+ years have been made available in Ireland.
- Many mortgage holders are unaware of the significant savings to be had by switching their mortgage. Learn about how much you could save by switching in this blog and about the legal fees involved in this blog.
- From becoming familiar with the Help-to-Buy scheme to looking into a mortgage exemption, there are steps you can take to help get your mortgage deposit together.
- Back in September, we launched our very own mortgage broker service! Our service is completely free and digital. Take a look at our blog on the launch to learn more.
Start saving today with bonkers.ie
As you can see, there were a lot of developments in Ireland over the last year. If you want to start the New Year with a bang, why not review your household bills and see what you could save? If you’re willing to put the effort in, you could save up to €7,000!
Take control of your household bills with bonkers.ie. With our comparison services, you can get the cheapest energy deal and the best broadband deal available in your area. You can also get the best return for money on your insurance costs, avail of the most competitive mortgage rates, and lower your everyday banking costs.