What are the four different types of personal insurance?

Maybe you’re a recent graduate – you’ve never looked into insurance, and you’re wondering where to start. Perhaps you’re covered by a few of these insurance types and weighing up the benefits of taking out other forms of insurance. No matter what your situation is, it’s a great idea to have an awareness of the four key types of insurance – here’s a brief overview.


Taking out homeowners insurance ensures that your possessions are covered against theft, fire, accidental damage, and even storms and flooding. With our homes containing our worldly possessions, when damage or burglary occurs the loss can be heart-breaking. Normally it would be very costly to replace damaged or destroyed items in your home, but this is where home insurance steps in. Depending on your policy, you’ll be able to claim back the money needed to replace lost items if an unforeseen disaster strikes. 

You’ll have to pay more to cover a particularly expensive item (there are usually upper limits for single items) or belongings that you’ll be taking out of the house (such as that fancy camera you like to take on holiday). You’ll also have to pay an excess on your claims which may be around €100 to €250, meaning it may be unwise to claim on any item worth less than your excess amount. To sum it up, home insurance can give homeowners peace of mind that they’ve mitigated the risk of a worst-case scenario. 


It’s awful when a holiday doesn’t go as planned. You’ve booked ahead, waited months, poured over idyllic pictures of the local beach, and then – disaster! Unfortunately, with holidays often involving unfamiliarity with new places, an increased risk of theft, and cancelled travel arrangements, it is not uncommon for holidaymakers to get into some sort of trouble. Taking out travel insurance can protect you from medical emergencies, factors beyond your control shortening your trip, transport issues, personal injury, lost, stolen, and damaged possessions, and accidental damage caused by you. Travel insurance is of particular importance for solo travellers, as it can be troublesome and dangerous if you are stranded somewhere without any means of getting home. Just make sure to check if you’re covered for any travel by your home insurance, bank card, or holiday plan.


This insurance type is extremely important as you are under a legal obligation to have motor insurance if you drive a vehicle. You need at least third-party motor insurance to legally drive on the roads, and if you’re planning on parking your vehicle on your driveway, in your garage, or on the street. There’s no getting around it, as Gardaí can check your vehicle anytime to see if you are displaying a valid insurance disc as required by law.against the Motor Insurance Database there on the spot. Check carefully what your insurance covers when choosing a policy as, for example, there is a big difference between third-party and comprehensive cover.


You may be thinking that you don’t need life insurance, and you might be right – many people don’t. This may be the case if you’re young and without children or a spouse relying on you. However, if you have family that depends on your income for things such as living costs and paying the mortgage, you’ll want them to be protected in the event of your death. 

Depending on your plan, if you die your dependents can be given a lump sum or regular payments. Factors such as age, health, and lifestyle will influence how cheap your policy is likely to be, so look around and be sure to do your research. 

Insurance policy terms and conditions vary with each provider.  Always check your policy schedule in conjunction with your provider’s policy wording for accurate interpretation of covers.

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Important Assumptions

For the purpose of determining the term over which pension contributions are made, we have assumed your birthday was exactly six months ago.

If your target retirement age is lower than the age at which the Social Welfare pension commences (age 68 if you are born on/after 01/01/1961, age 67 if born before this date but on/after 01/01/1955 and age 66 if born before 01/01/1955) the calculations allow for funding for this gap, in addition to the cost of the annuity.

You are entitled to a full Social Welfare pension of €248.30 per week as at March 2019 which is assumed to increase by 2.5% per year.

You are saving for the difference between the Social Welfare pension and your target monthly income in retirement.

We have allowed for inflation of your target monthly income of 2.5% per annum between now and your retirement date.

Any other private pension provision you may have in place has not been taken into account.

Your monthly pension contribution increases by 2.5% each year up until your retirement age and is invested in a pension plan with an annual management charge of 1% and a 5% charge on each contribution, in line with the Standard PRSA fees and charges maximum limit.

A Gross Investment Return of 4.2% per annum on your savings. This is not a forecast because the value of your investment may grow at a faster or slower rate than assumed and the value of your investment may be expected to fall from time to time as well as rise.

On retirement you purchase an annuity which escalates at 1.5% each year, has a 5-year guarantee and is payable monthly in advance. The annuity rate assumes a post retirement interest rate of 2% per annum and no spouse’s pension. The actual annuity rate will depend on the selection of dependant’s pension, guaranteed period and the escalation rate, as well as interest rates prevailing when the annuity is purchased.


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