Alliance Welcome Acceleration In Implementation Of New Personal Injury Guidelines

Calls on insurers to pass on reductions immediately and in full

The Alliance for Insurance Reform has welcomed confirmation from Government that the new Judicial Personal Injuries Guidelines will take effect in April.

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance, said “We welcome the sense of urgency in the Cabinet’s approval today of plans by the Minister of Justice to implement the new guidelines. Now it is time for insurers to outline very clearly how they intend to reduce premiums to reflect these developments.”

Tracy Sheridan, owner of Kidspace play centres in Rathfarnham and Rathcoole and director of the Alliance said “Insurers have repeatedly and consistently maintained to the Cost of Insurance Working Group, the Personal Injuries Commission, the Oireachtas Finance Committee and elsewhere that the cost of claims drives premium costs. This analysis has been verified by the Central Bank’s National Claims Information Database Private Motor Insurance Reports. The changes implemented by the Judicial Council and accelerated today by Government mean that the risk associated with every policy will reduce sharply from next month. This must be immediately reflected in renewals for motor and liability insurance cover.”

Eoin McCambridge, Managing Director of McCambridge’s of Galway and Director of the Alliance said “Government must act robustly if necessary to ensure that the gains from the Judicial Guidelines and today’s Cabinet decision are passed on immediately and in full by insurers. Any delays or half-hearted measures will undermine the credibility of the reform process. Furthermore, if insurers do not deliver on the reasonable expectations of policyholders, Government must legislate to monitor and hold them to account in the way that the UK authorities recently have with insurers there, following reforms.”

In conclusion Peter Boland said “It must be remembered that getting insurance costs down means cutting the general damages paid out for minor, fully recovered injuries to reflect international norms. We have written to An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, in his role as Chair of the Cabinet Committee Sub-Group on Insurance Reform, asking Government to take control of the process and cap general damages such that damages for minor injuries are reduced by an average of 80% compared to the previous Book of Quantum guidelines. Equally, the committed–to reform of PIAB and the rebalancing of the duty of care must now be accelerated. But in the meantime, insurers must act in good faith on the progress already made.”