Personal injury awards drop 50% following introduction of new guidelines

Report shows that 78% of awards are €15,000 or less compared to 30% last year

The first implementation report on the action plan, covering its first six months, is due to be brought before Cabinet soon. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The first implementation report on the action plan, covering its first six months, is due to be brought before Cabinet soon. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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The average award in personal injuries cases has dropped by about 50 per cent in the last two months following the introduction of new guidelines, according to preliminary findings contained in a new report.

The update on the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform, due to be brought to Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, cites data from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

It suggests that there has been a significant fall in the value of awards in the two months since long-awaited new personal injuries guidelines came into operation.

The report is understood to show that the guidelines have had an impact with the latest figures showing that 78 per cent of awards were €15,000 or less now, compared to some 30 per cent last year.

The guidelines, which came into effect on April 24th, set out new levels of damages that may be awarded or assessed in respect of personal injuries. They reduce the award levels for most categories of injury.

It was hoped that the introduction of the guidelines would reduce insurance costs for consumers and, in time, boost competition in the Irish insurance market. Insurers, who had long linked high premiums to the expense of personal injury awards in the State, recently told an Oireachtas committee meeting that they would “not be found wanting” in cutting premiums following the introduction of the long-awaited guidelines.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is expected to bring the first implementation report on the action plan – covering its first six months – to Cabinet. It shows that about half of the 66 actions in the plan have been implemented such as the strengthening of the law on perjury and the establishment of a new office to promote competition in the insurance market.

Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is to update the Cabinet on the outcome of OECD talks on international taxation. Ireland was one of only nine countries not to sign an agreement on reforming the global corporate tax regime, including a minimum effective tax rate for big companies of at least 15 per cent.

The date of Budget 2022 is also expected to be set as October 12th and Mr Donohoe is to provide an update on when the Summer Economic Statement will be delivered.