Judges are starting to row back on undertakings to cap payouts for personal injuries.
That's according to Declan O'Rourke, the CEO of Aviva Ireland.
He says 60% of Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) cases are now being rejected by judges in lower courts.
This means premiums could still stay very high for Irish consumers, due to the higher payouts.
He told Breakfast Business judges themselves aren't sticking to a 40% reduction.
"The judges came together, they decided on new rates - a new menu of awards for different injuries.
"They voted on it, it was voted in.
"I think it was down 40%: it's still the highest in Europe, but it's going in the right direction.
"And then suddenly when that hit the ground, the injuries board PIAB... their job is to take the guidelines and apply them to cases.
"The first thing that happened was immediately the solicitors and the plaintiffs started rejecting more cases.
"Now the majority of cases that go in to PIAB are rejected by the plaintiffs and the solicitors."
Mr O'Rourke says 60% of cases are now rejected.
"These cases - five of those have gone to the courts so far, and the courts have reversed the PIAB awards, which are the awards that were voted in by the judges in the first place.
"And that's just a really bad sign at the moment".
Savings of minor injury awards 'eroded'
He says these cases will likely be appealed to other courts.
"I think certainly they'll be appealed up to the higher courts and higher juriducations.
"And hopefully that settles it, because if that doesn't settle things you've a situation where PIAB is powerless".
And he warns: "Really all of the savings of the lower, minor injury awards are eroded by the additional cases that go to court and the judges reversing the PIAB awards and going back to the old rates".
Mr O'Rourke believes this is the biggest issue for the industry.
"I think personal injury reform is the biggest issue for the insurance industry for many years.
"And if you go back - say - as far as even 2010, when Quinn went bust, prices were too low.
"Following then Setanta, RSA had a huge over €200m loss, FBD needed support.
"Our insurance sector was in a really poor way by around 2016 - and at that stage, rates started going up dramatically and it became a political issue."