A campaigner for insurance reform in Ireland says there needs to be consistency from the courts, and has hit out at so-called 'Santa Claus' judges.
It comes as a new report from the Law Reform Commission said any new legislation introduced that would put a cap on personal injury insurance claims could be open to a constitutional challenge.
Pat McDonagh, CEO of fast-food firm Supermacs, told Newstalk Breakfast there are several factors contributing to the high costs.
"It is a step, it's a step in the right direction - and when you see the judiciary and the Law Reform Committee doing something about it you know there's something wrong in the first place.
"There's such a variance across the country in relation to claims, and in relation to how judiciary look at claims and how they make their rewards for claims.
"I just saw in the paper there in the last few days: A whiplash injury was reduced in the High Court from €74,000 down to €32,000.
"That's such a discrepancy as I say among the judiciary that they need to address this situation.
"Whether it's President of the High Court or the President of the Circuit Courts, [they] need to get together and come up with a system where there's consistency.
"When you're a barrister before a court case tells you, if there are two judges sitting, if you draw 'Judge X' you're going to have to settle this case beforehand - because it's a Santa Claus judge - and if you draw 'Judge Y', you've a fair chance of getting a decent hearing."
"Obviously you've some good judges who have a lot of experience in the area, but then you've maybe other judges who are new to it and don't understand it fully.
"That's part of the problem, but it's only part of the problem.
"The biggest costs in relation to insurance claims are the legal costs".
"It's up on our website where we show the costs of seven different claims.
"The actual rewards only came to 35,000, but the legal costs came to 420,000 approximately.
"So that's where the main problem is".
'Follow the money'
"It's a combination of everything - if you follow the money, where does the money go?
"And if you look and you see the high costs of defending legal cases, that's one area.
"The insurance companies are making a fortune out of this as well, because there's no limit on what they can increase their premium.
"There's no restriction, there's no Government legislation to say that you can't put up the premium any higher than 10%, 15% or 20%.
"They can put it up 50%, 100%, 200% if they want to - so there's no restriction on insurance companies".
"This whole system needs to be addressed by the Government, it needs to be addressed and addressed urgently".
The Alliance for Insurance Reform has also welcomed the publication of the report on capping damages.
Director Peter Boland said: "We welcome the timely publication of this important report.
"Right now the report changes nothing in that new draft guidelines on general damages are due to be submitted to the Board of the Judicial Council by October 28th.
"But on the other hand it clearly endorses a 'plan B' - the capping of damages by the Oireachtas - if the Judicial Council does not fully reflect the common good in urgently delivering the dramatic reductions in damages for minor injuries necessary if we are to address our current insurance crisis in any meaningful way".