Wednesday 28 September 2016

Judges rapped on 'compo culture' as premiums soar

Published 04/04/2016 | 02:30

Richard Bruton: lobbied by insurance firms
Richard Bruton: lobbied by insurance firms

Judges are being pressed to tackle the problem of hugely inflated insurance premiums by sticking to new guidelines on compensation claims.

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Large awards leading to the growth of a 'compo culture' are just one of the factors being blamed for a 30pc hike in motor insurance premiums over the past year.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has held a meeting with the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, in a bid to get judicial support for guidelines due to be published this summer.

Senior executives at Axa Insurance lobbied Mr Bruton last October on the issue. They complained that courts were awarding significantly higher damages than the insurance companies involved had expected in some cases.

Officials confirmed he subsequently met with Mr Justice Kelly, the High Court President, on January 29.

They said no specific cases were discussed, but the minister had sought judicial "buy-in" for new compensation guidelines being prepared by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

The guidelines, known as the "book of quantum", are expected by the summer. The current book of quantum, used as a reference guide by the judiciary, lawyers and insurance firms, is 12 years old and considered out of date.

Irish Independent

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