To some people Ireland is becoming the ‘whiplash capital’ of the world
For some people their renewal notices for annual car insurance are causing shock and annoyance to motorists, with their premiums up by 30pc. Just look at the figures as the recent annual report from the Injuries Board relays a different story. The volume of claims (33,561) is up 6pc, while average cash pay-outs are only up 1pc (€22,878). This State entity was set up in 2004 to provide a fair, speedy, non-litigious compensation scheme for accident victims. What is gone on? The Injuries Board is dealing with only 20pc of all awards, while 80pc are still settled through the courts. Inconsistency in awards is driving these uncontrollable costs.
Even if you have not put in a recent claim it is still going to affect you. As the insurers highlighted cumulative losses of €456m over the past three years, this is due to apparently due to a rise in claims. Let us leave aside the picking up thebill for insolvencies at Setanta and Quinn, as well as unprecedented fraud, the main blame is attributed to the levels of awards for injuries cases, especially whiplash claims.
But it would be more effective if the new Government would just take control of the situation by putting the Injuries Board book of quantum, this is the guide book used by the injuries board when they are assessing compensation for personal injury claims on a statutory footing. This would standardise the compensation for specific injuries. Unless there is a mandatory, systemic approach, the Injuries Board will be by passed.
The most common car accident injury in Ireland, such as whiplash yields an average compensation payment of €14,000. This can be compared with £5,000 in the UK and France at €2,000; and Germany €3,000.