Monday 17 June 2019

Support for referendum to cap insurance pay-out levels

Most people feel €6,500 is a fair amount for whiplash injuries, €10,000 less than the current average award amount. Stock photo: Depositphotos
Most people feel €6,500 is a fair amount for whiplash injuries, €10,000 less than the current average award amount. Stock photo: Depositphotos
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Most people think the Government is not doing enough to tackle the compensation claims crisis.

And there is majority support for the capping of injury awards, a survey reveals.

People feel so strongly about the issue there is overwhelming support for a referendum to allow legislation to be put in place to limit award pay-outs, according to an Ipsos MRBI poll for Insurance Ireland.

Most people feel €6,500 is a fair amount for whiplash injuries, €10,000 less than the current average award amount.

The average pay-out for a soft tissue, or whiplash, injury in this country is €17,400. An official report last summer found awards for minor injuries here are almost five times higher than in England and Wales.

High awards levels have been blamed for pushing up costs of premiums, with businesses being hit with such steep rises that firms are closing and jobs are being lost.

A key recommendation of the Government-appointed Personal Injuries Commission was that judges be empowered to recalibrate the levels of awards. The legislation to effect this has yet to be passed.

The survey found 78pc of the public do not believe the plan is being treated as a priority by the Government.

Irish Independent

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