THE FACTS

What The Alliance Has Been Able To Achieve

One of the most frustrating things about insurance in Ireland in recent years has been that very significant reforms have already taken place – reforms that insurers said were needed so they could pass on savings to policy holders – and yet the vast majority of reforms have taken place without meaningful and sustained premium reductions.

Key reforms to date have included:

THE FACTS

Judicial Guidelines

In March 2021, the Judicial Guidelines were introduced, replacing the Book of Quantum for the assessment of awards in personal injury cases. The Guidelines provided more detailed guidance in the assessment of awards and have contributed significantly to reducing awards to levels seen in other European countries by more accurately ascribing specific values to specific claims.

Alliance for Insurance Reform
Alliance for Insurance Reform
Alliance for Insurance Reform

THE FACTS

Garda Insurance Fraud Coordination Office (IFCO)

In 2021 the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) established a dedicated office which will take all reports of alleged insurance fraud for initial consideration. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), there were 98 insurance fraud cases recorded by An Garda Síochána in 2022, compared to 18,453 personal injury claims in the same year. That is half of one percent yet insurers have regularly insisted that up to 20pc of claims are fraudulent. Insurers expect An Garda Síochána to step up to the mark in detecting it, but with very few exceptions, they are not prepared to invest in detection or reporting themselves.

THE FACTS

Occupiers’ Liability

Significant amendments to Occupiers’ Liability (also known as the Duty of Care) were commenced in July 2022. This legislation should significantly reduce liability premiums given the nature of the reforms it includes:

  • Inserting into primary law a number of recent court decisions which rebalance the duty of care owed by occupiers to visitors and recreational users. These changes include Courts having regard to the care visitors may reasonably be expected to have for their own safety in all the circumstances, the probability of an accident occurring, the severity of any injury that might occur and the cost of eliminating the risk. The standard of care occupiers must show has to be adapted to the conditions and the social utility of what is being provided should also be considered.
  • Changing the standard of care owed by the occupier in relation to the existence of a hazard on their property from one of reasonable knowledge to that of acting recklessly in relation to the hazard.
  • Limits to the circumstances in which a court can impose liability on the occupier of a premises where a person has entered onto premises for the purpose of committing an offence; and
  • Allowing for a broad range of scenarios where it can be shown that a visitor or customer has voluntarily assumed a risk resulting in harm. Prior to this legislative change written agreements were required. now the occupier may be relieved of liability by means other than a written agreement.
Alliance for Insurance Reform
Alliance for Insurance Reform

THE FACTS

Injuries Resolution Board (formerly PIAB)

Legislation was introduced to enable the Injuries Resolution Board to offer a broader range of services and to resolve more personal injuries claims at lower cost, without the need for unnecessary litigation.

THE FACTS

What these reforms have meant:

The volume of claims and size of awards have dropped considerably in recent years without any noticeable improvement in public liability premiums.

Useful Resources

Information about insurance premiums, personal injury awards, Governmental objectives in this area, as well as other useful information can be found at:

Alliance for Insurance Reform

NCID Motor
reports

Alliance for Insurance Reform

NCID Liability
reports

Alliance for Insurance Reform

PIAB
reports

Alliance for Insurance Reform

Court Service
Annual
Reports

Alliance for Insurance Reform

Cabinet Committee Subgroup on Insurance Reform

Alliance for Insurance Reform

Office to Promote Competition in the Insurance Market