‘Colossal’ drop in personal injury awards which fall by 42% after new guidelines (via Irish Times)

PIAB guidelines have ‘immediate and colossal’ impact on insurance payout

By Mary Carolan, 12th April 2022

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board’s average award last year dropped by 42 per cent in the wake of new guidelines slashing awards for minor personal injuries entering into force and fuelling calls for cheaper insurance.

Almost half – 49 per cent – of awards were under €10,000, compared to just 12 per cent of awards in 2020. The overall average general damages award across the motor, employer and public liability claims was €11,583, a drop of 47 per cent on the €21,850 average in 2020.

The PIAB report concerns 4,731 claims assessed by it between April 24th, 2021 – when the guidelines came into effect after being approved by a majority of the Judicial Council – and December 31st, 2021.

The number of claims has fallen 31 per cent since 2019, when PIAB received 31,078 applications, to 21,410 last year but much of that decline is attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Irish motor insurers last year enjoyed their highest level of profitability since at least 2009 – as the level of road accidents and claims declined during Covid-19 restrictions, according to a Central Bank of Ireland report – reaping profits equaling 12 per cent of total income.

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