Retail groups dismayed by new judicial guidelines on personal injury payouts
Alliance for Insurance Reform has written to An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, asking government to intervene immediately
9 March 2021
The Alliance for Insurance Reform has reacted with dismay to the new Personal Injuries Guidelines published on Saturday (6 March) by the Judicial Council and has called on the government to immediately intervene to do the right thing for hard-pressed motorists, charities, voluntary and community groups, sports and cultural organisations and SMEs severely affected by insurance costs, by dramatically reducing the proposed damages for minor injuries. The new judicial guidelines are set to replace the current Book of Quantum guidelines on the amounts awarded for personal injuries.
“Getting insurance costs down means cutting the general damages paid out for minor, fully recovered injuries to reflect international norms and norms already established by the Court of Appeal,” said Peter Boland, director of the alliance.
“It would have taken reductions of 80% to the damages handed out for such injuries in order to do so,” he added. “In advance of the adoption of these guidelines, we called on the judiciary to have regard to the common good in their deliberations but they have ignored this plea and we are dismayed at what they are now proposing.”
Examples of minor injuries that remain way too high following the Judicial Council review include:
• Minor thumb injury (no sprain, no breakage). Was €21,200 reduced to €12,000 (-43%) . Currently €4,582 in England & Wales
• Ankle. Minor. Was €23,100. Now €12,000 (-48%). Currently €7,413 in England & Wales
“We have now written to An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, in his role as Chair of the Cabinet Committee Sub-Group on Insurance Reform, asking Government to intervene immediately, take control of the situation 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,” Boland added.
RGDATA has also written to An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, requesting that the following measures be implemented:
Cap damages for minor, fully recoverable injuries to bring them down 80% on the previous Book of Quantum so Ireland’s payouts for very minor injuries are in line with other EU countries.
• Adopt RGDATA’s Employers Liability Amendment Bill to rebalance the Duty of Care and make it fairer and more reasonable.
• Set up a Garda Fraud Investigations Unit and tackle insurance fraud.
• Put a special super tax on Insurance Company profits, if they don’t pass on savings to customers.
The association has called on retailers to contact their local politicians in relation to this issue.
You can find out who your political representatives are at: https://www.whoismytd.com/