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Insurance Ireland welcomes the commitment by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD to tackle Irish personal injury award levels

Issued 28 March 2019. Insurance Ireland today welcomed the decision by the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD not to oppose the Civil Liability (Capping of Damages) Bill 2019. Insurance Ireland CEO Kevin Thompson said “The passage of this legislation through second stage is a welcome development and an important step to providing systemic reform of Irish claims costs. We know from the report of the Personal Injuries Commission that Irish soft tissue compensation is 4.4 times that paid in the UK, they also found that for each year the average value of these claims increased by €900. I am calling on all political parties to prioritise this legislation through committee stage at the earliest opportunity, the government set up the Cost of Insurance Working Group in July 2016, it is important that we bring about these much needed reforms to fruition. Fifteen years ago, when we last comprehensively addressed Irish claims costs Insurers stepped up to the mark and played their part and they will do so again once the systemic reforms have been progressed by Government.”

 

The commercial performance of the Irish liability and motor market has been very poor over the last five years and this underlines the urgent need for legislative reform.

 

  • Net underwriting losses for employers and public liability insurance of €47 million in 2017, for every €1 collected in premium €1.12 was paid out.

 

  • Between 2013 and 2017, total underwriting losses in liability insurance were €349 million

 

  • Between 2013 and 2017, total underwriting losses in motor insurance were €757 million.

 

  • Motor insurance returned to underwriting profitability in 2017 to bring the Non-Life market to an overall underwriting profit of €126.3 million for the year. Insurers must maintain underwriting discipline in what is still a volatile market as key claims reforms have not been delivered. Like all businesses, insurers want stability and claims cost reform is the means to deliver this for policyholders.

 

  • The Central Statistics Office consumer price index shows that the cost of motor insurance has fallen by 22% since the middle of 2016.

 

Ends

 

Media contact:

John Byrne

Head of Communications, Insurance Ireland

Tel: (+353) 01 644 7781 

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