AIG wants to ban whiplash claims

Premiums are only heading one way...

AIG wants to ban whiplash claims

Clive Gee / PA

The head of the Irish division of the world’s largest insurance company, AIG, has urged Ireland to follow the UK’s lead in considering a ban on whiplash claims to help counter soaring motor insurance costs and premiums.

Declan O’ Rourke told The Irish Times that whiplash awards here are growing increasingly out of kilter to those elsewhere in Europe.

"In France and Germany the normal award for whiplash is €2,000 to €3,000 and the legal fees are in the hundreds, while in the UK, which calls itself the whiplash capital of Europe, the average payout is £5,000. Here the average payout is €15,000 so we have the most expensive necks in Europe."

He confirmed that AIG lost between €10m and €20m on motor insurance alone here last year despite a 50% increase in premiums for new business and 25% for renewals.

Unless reforms to the amounts paid on claims were introduced, he said his company and others would have to continue increasing rates and that the average motor premium could rise towards an average of €1,000.