New guidelines on personal injury awards are to come into effect from April 24th

Insurance companies indicated they will begin to reduce premiums in response to guidelines

The new judicial guidelines on personal injury awards are to come into effect from  April 24th, the Minister for Justice has said. File photograph: iStock

The new judicial guidelines on personal injury awards are to come into effect from April 24th, the Minister for Justice has said. File photograph: iStock

 

The new judicial guidelines on personal injury awards are to come into effect from Saturday, April 24th, the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, has said.

The insurance companies have indicated that they will begin to reduce premiums in response to the guidelines, according to the Minister of State with responsibility for insurance, Sean Fleming.

He said he has been meeting with the main insurers operating in the Irish market to press for premium reductions.

“The engagement to date has been positive, with all insurers indicating that they will begin to reduce premiums in response to these developments.”

The new guidelines set out the level of damages that may be awarded or assessed in respect of personal injuries. They reduce the award levels for most categories of personal injury.

The guidelines will be used by both the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and the courts to arrive at compensation amounts.

Comprise

The Judicial Council, which comprises all of the State’s more than 160 judges, voted in favour of the guidelines in March, with 83 of the judges who took part in the confidential poll voting in favour, and 63 voting against.

“This is a very significant step in meeting our commitment to make insurance more affordable for consumers, businesses and community groups,” Ms McEntee said.

The commencement of the guidelines should reduce costs, and in time, boost competition in the Irish insurance market.

“It is now important that the insurance industry follows through and brings down the cost of insurance.”

The guidelines apply to applications already made to PIAB except where an assessment has already been made.

The Book of Quantum, which is produced by PIAB and is to be replaced by the guidelines, will continue to apply where PIAB assessments have been made or where a hearing is already before the courts.

“Our overriding concern in Government is to urgently address the economic impacts of high insurance costs, while ensuring fair compensation when someone is injured through no fault of their own,” Ms McEntee said.

“I want to see the reduction in payouts reflected in lower premiums in the near future.”