Injuries Board wants payouts to increase

Your insurance could get even pricier due to new recommendations...

Injuries Board wants payouts to increase

Dominic Lipinski / PA

The State's first evaluation of personal injury claims in a decade has recommended that payouts should be even higher.

The update to the guidelines on personal injury awards could result in further increases in motor insurance costs.

The guidelines recommend a 10% jump in compensation for lower-level injuries. This would come at a major cost to insurers, as such injuries make up the majority of claims, with whiplash alone accounting for some 80%.

The average whiplash award would rise to €16,500 as a result of the Injuries Board's evaluation – the figure currently stands at €15,000, which is three times higher than typical payouts in Britain.

The Irish Independent reports that judges have been secretly briefed on the contents of the new guidelines, the so-called "Book of Quantum", and that they will use the book to aid their rulings on awards in personal injury cases.

The head of the Injuries Board, Conor O'Brien, told the paper:

"We have engaged with all parties that use the Book of Quantum, but judges have to have regard to it, so we have engaged more with them."

Insurance companies claim they have not seen the new version.

This is the first updating of the Book of Quantum since 2004, the same year the Injuries Board was established as the State body tasked with assessing personal injury claims.

There has been widespread criticism over the ever-increasing cost of motor insurance in Ireland, with the CSO's consumer price index for May 2016 showing a 35.5% year-on-year increase in premiums.

In early June, the Dáil passed a motion supporting the establishment of a new taskforce to investigate the soaring cost of motor insurance.