Blog from Galway Talks, 22nd Nov 2012

Issue :           New Visa Debit Cards

Most banks are now replacing the traditional Laser Card with Visa Debit Cards.  The main benefit of the new card is apparent when you travel abroad.  Traditionally people, who used their laser cards when traveling, would have to access cash through an ATM and then use that money for whatever transactions they were doing.  Now with the Visa Debit Card, you can present it at any merchant worldwide the same way as a credit card.

Issue :           House Insurance on vacant properties.

A lot of property owners are not aware that if their premises are vacant for more than one month that they must contact their insurer to advise them that it is vacant.  This is occurring more and more in certain parts of the country where investment properties are vacant for long periods of time. 

In such situations it appears that you are only covered for fire only and that it is not possible to obtain any other form of cover as all insurers take the same attitude.  This puts a greater burden on the owner to constantly check their property in case of break-ins and possibly even more importantly with regard to burst pipes etc.

If you have a claim and you have not informed the insurer that it was vacant, then on inspection they will likely apply the vacancy clause.

Question:  I am over 65 and at the moment, because of my income, I do not pay DIRT on interest I earn on my bank account.  Do you think this is likely to change in the next budget?

Whilst I obviously do not know if DIRT exemption for over 65’s will be removed, I would speculate there is a high probability that it will.  There has been a lot of media speculation that certain benefits enjoyed by people in the over 65 bracket, will be removed in the budget.