Sunday 4 December 2016

Insurance hikes on cards as compo payouts to soar

Revamped compo guide will lead to higher damages

Published 20/06/2016 | 02:30

Whiplash accounts for around 80pc of all personal injury claims Stock photo: Depositphotos
Whiplash accounts for around 80pc of all personal injury claims Stock photo: Depositphotos

The first update to guidelines on personal injury awards in more than a decade is to recommend higher, not lower, payouts.

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As the Irish Independent today launches a campaign to tackle high insurance costs, it can be revealed that further price hikes are looming.

Despite insurance costs rising by more than a third in the past year alone, new guidelines are to see a 10pc rise in the recommended payout for lower level injuries which make up the majority of claims.

It would mean that the recommended payout for whiplash - which accounts for around 80pc of all claims - would be €16,500, up from €15,000 at present.

There is already heavy criticism of existing whiplash awards here, as they are three times higher than those in Britain.

And it has emerged that judges have been secretly briefed on the contents of the new awards guidelines, known as the Book of Quantum, ahead of any other group.

Insurers have complained there is huge inconsistency in court awards, while AA Ireland has called for specific training for judges on how to handle personal injuries cases.

Awards made in court tend to set the benchmark for all awards and settlements, whether the cases are heard in court or not.

The Book of Quantum is a general guide to the compensation that should be awarded for various types of injuries, depending on their severity.

Irish Independent

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