New Book of Quantum a ﬁrst step in bringing consistency to awards but more action needed
…Kevin Thompson, CEO, Insurance Ireland
New Book of Quantum can help reduce claims volatility if adhered to
Further action needed to tackle high claims costs, benchmark awards and reinforce the powers of the Injuries Board
“While its publication is welcome, it is unfortunate that the new Book of Quantum does not internationally benchmark awards”
Insurance Ireland has stated it is hopeful that the new Book of Quantum can bring consistency to awards but cautioned that more policy responses are needed to address the high cost of claims. Insurance Ireland supports the Injuries Board and has been calling for a revised Book of Quantum to address inconsistency in awards and their impact on the cost of claims. Insurance Ireland has also called for personal injury awards to be internationally benchmarked to address situations such as an average whiplash award in Ireland being three times higher than a comparable UK award. In supporting the Injuries Board, Insurance Ireland has also been clear that it needs new powers to reflect the changing claims environment. For instance, over 90% of Injuries Board claimants now have legal representation when it was envisaged as a “lawyer free zone”. Giving more powers to the Injuries Board to compel claimants to attend medicals and provide proof of loss of earnings information are necessary steps that are not included in this launch.
Insurance Ireland first made these points in 2014 and they should be legislated for as a matter of urgency. Kevin Thompson, the CEO of Insurance Ireland, stated: “Bringing consistency to personal injury awards is the first step in tackling the high cost of claims in Ireland. If this new Book is strictly adhered to by the Injuries Board and the judiciary then we can begin to tackle claims inflation.” “While its publication is welcome, it is unfortunate that the new Book of Quantum does not internationally benchmark awards. Insurance Ireland is calling for a timeframe for the publication of the next Book and a commitment to internationally benchmark awards – otherwise it will simply reinforce rising claims costs.”
Kevin concluded: “While the new Book is an important first step, Insurance Ireland is clear that much more needs to be done to address claims volatility including resolving the Setanta issue and taking unnecessary legal costs out of the claims process. Insurance Ireland looks forward to further policy responses to the challenge of rising cost of claims.”