RGDATA and AIR urge government to get tough on insurers to reduce liability premiums
Overall, the average award in Jan-Jun 2022 was €14,786, 38% lower than before Judicial Guidelines were implemented
9 November 2022
The Alliance for Insurance Reform has called on Government to get serious with the insurance industry following confirmation from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) that the new Judicial Personal Injuries Guidelines continue to have a very positive and improving impact on personal injury claims costs.
“We welcome the latest report from PIAB showing serious reductions in the total number of personal injury claims, the average awards and the numbers of claimants heading to litigation,” said Peter Boland, director of the alliance. “Liability insurers are pocketing these benefits and it is up to Government to get serious with them to ensure that the benefits are passed on in premium reductions to SMEs, voluntary and community groups, charities and sports and cultural organisations struggling with the costs of staying open.”
“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 the cost of premiums,” added Tracy Sheridan, owner of Kidspace play centres in Rathfarnham and Rathcoole and director of the alliance.
“This analysis has been verified by the Central Bank’s National Claims Information Database,” Sheridan added. “The reforms implemented by Government and the Judiciary mean that the claims costs and future risk associated with every motor and liability policy in Ireland have reduced sharply since early 2021. This is being reflected in the competitive motor insurance market, but liability insurance premiums are actually going upwards, tracking +16% in our rolling renewals research.”
“Insurers are taking liability policyholders and the government for a ride and damaging the credibility of the Government’s insurance reform programme,” added Eoin McCambridge, director of the alliance.” From a policyholder perspective, it appears that all the gains being delivered are being used to improve underwriter profitability and bankroll the takeover frenzy in the insurance broker sector. Government must hold insurers to account to ensure that the gains from the Judicial Guidelines and other reforms are passed on immediately and in full.”
“The challenges of staying open for Irish SMEs, voluntary and community groups, charities and sports and cultural organisations have never been greater in our nation’s recent history,” Boland concluded. “Of all these challenges, the insurance crisis is the one closest to being solved by government. Insurers must act in good faith on the progress already made.”