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Statement on the Second Report on the EL, PL & CP Markets

 

Insurance Ireland Statement on the Central Bank of Ireland’s Second Report on the Employers’ Liability, Public Liability and Commercial Property Markets

 

  • NCID Report shows that the employers’ liability (EL), public liability (PL) and commercial property (CP) have been and remain very challenging markets for insurers.
  • The findings support the call to fully implement the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform, including the strengthening of the powers of PIABand updating the Occupiers Liability Act with reform of the duty of care laws.
  • Report highlights the effectiveness of the PIAB claims settlement process with compensation on a par with those settled through litigation.

 

Issued 22nd June 2022. Insurance Ireland today commented on the publication of the Central Bank of Ireland’s (CBI) second annual National Claims Information Database (NCID) report on the employers’ liability (EL), public liability (PL) and commercial property (CP) markets.

Moyagh Murdock, CEO of Insurance Ireland said: “We welcome the second iteration of this report, which provides useful and informative insights into the Irish employers’ liability, public liability and commercial property insurance markets. The report found that the EL, PL and CP markets have been operating at a combined loss over the reporting period, which is concerning and also confirms the challenge in some sectors in retaining existing providers and attracting new entrants into Ireland.”

The report underlines the importance of progressing legislation, including the strengthening of the powers of PIAB. The PIRB Bill (Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022) is an important piece of legislation that should pave the way for more claims being settled without the need for costly litigation. Successive NCID reports have consistently shown that PIAB awarded compensation is on a par with litigated settlements, but with litigated cases, legal fees are vastly greater, almost 16 times more costly in this report, than settling via PIAB. The report also shows that the settlement of claims via litigation is 2.5 times longer than those settled by PIAB, which is further proof that strengthening PIAB to increase settlements without litigation is of great importance.

The NCID report shows that:

The average cost of an EL claim increased by 37%, and the average cost of a PL claim increased by 24% between 2019 and 2020.

  • In contrast, the average earned premium for package policies (or the majority of all policies, 84%) increased by 6% from €2,232 in 2009 to €2,356 in 2020.
  • The loss ratio (claims as a % of premiums) averaged at 76% between 2009 and 2020.
  • For claims less that €150,000, average legal fees for claims settled via PIAB €1,273 while via litigation the average legal fees jumped to €20,313, an almost 16 fold multiple.
  • Settlement of personal injury claims via PIAB took on average 1.8 years, while litigated claims took 4.5 years.
  • 99% of package policies have premiums that are below €25,000, 92% of package policies have premiums that are below €5,000 and 57% package policies have premiums that are below €1,000.
  • Insurers Operating result for EL/PL and Commercial Property Combined was a loss of 11% in 2020.

Moyagh Murdock continued: “The swift enactment of the recently proposed changes to the Occupiers’ Liability Act on the duty of care in Ireland is also vitally important. A rebalancing of the standard, implemented quickly, is crucial to ensure sustainable cover is available to SMEs and consumers into the future. We have called for these measures for many years, which should make the Irish insurance market more reasonable, practical and proportionate for claimants, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups alike.

At present, the balance of responsibility is tilted against the businesses and owners when it comes to commonplace injuries like slips, trips and falls. A common sense approach is lacking in too many instanceswith little onus on personal responsibility on the part of customers and members of the public. This is leading to insurers exiting the market and making Ireland an unattractive place to do business compared to many other jurisdictions.

News of two recent High Court cases confirming the legitimacy of the new Personal Injury Guidelines is another welcome development in the reform of the insurance market in Ireland. This iteration of the report looks at 2020 data and therefore, does not include claims under the new Guidelines.

Results in these areas will be central to attracting new players into the market. That is why we strongly support the Government’s work in this space. This in our view will deliver better value for businesses and consumers in the long run.”

Ends//

 

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