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Injuries Board CEO Calls for Insurance Companies not to Raise Their Premiums

The CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland has called for insurance companies not to increase the value of premiums that their customers pay in spite of the average value of Injuries Board awards increasing.

A recently published report on the awards of compensation issued by the Injuries Board shows that the value of compensation awarded has increased by more than 8 percent during the first six months of the year.

The report was published on the Injuries Board’s website. Both the total number of applications for assessment (16,162) and the average value of Injuries Board awards (€22,349) increased in relation to the corresponding  six-month period in 2012. The CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland –  Patricia Byrne-commented that the higher volume of claims and increased value of accepted compensation assessments did not provide an excuse for insurance companies to increase the premiums they charge.

She said that, as the Board´s processing fee for respondents had been reduced from €850.00 to €600.00 between 2012 and 2013. The savings made by insurance companies should counter the increased value of Injuries Board claims, and thus their premiums should not rise. She added that early indications from the third quarter of 2013 show a general decline in the number of applications for assessment being received by the Injuries Board.

Traffic accident compensation claims made up nearly 75.5 percent of the claims, which was by far the highest proportion attributed to any one category. Claims for injuries sustained in public places (public liability claims) accounted for 16.4% of accepted Injuries Board assessments. The balance (8.1 percent) being made up of awards of compensation for accidents at work.

The report failed to highlight that the percentage of accepted assessments (Injuries Board awards that plaintiffs agree to) fell from 37.2 percent in 2012 to 32.7 percent in 2013. This number would indicate a higher proportion of claims for personal injury compensation are being settled outside of the Injuries Board process.

However, it should be noted that – even if you are in advanced stages of negotiating a compensation settlement with an insurance company – an application for assessment should still be submitted to the Injuries Board. If your negotiations are unsuccessful, and court action is required to resolve your claim, you (or your solicitor) will require that an Authorisation” is issued by the Injuries Board before court action can proceed.

Please also note that the Injuries Board does not accept applications for assessment when plaintiffs have sustained a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to medical negligence, and it is always recommended that you seek the advice of a solicitor in these circumstances.

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