The cost of car insurance is set for another rise due to the way in which the courts will be able to resolve personal injury claims arising from accidents
A leading legal reformer warns that car insurance premiums are going up as a result of these changes which are planned to be passed into law later this year. These changes include an increase in the limit of compensation that can be awarded by judges in the District, Circuit and High Courts.
The head of the Injuries Board, Ms. Dorothea Dowling, foresees a big knock-on effect in costs in managing personal injury claims when these changes become law. As a consequence, insurance companies will face higher costs which will have to be passed onto their customers in the form of bigger premiums. In addition, the increase in claims being put through the courts, lengthening the time it will take cases to be brought to court.
This scenario is in contrast to how the Injuries Board operates. Set up with the help of the Government in 2004, the Injuries Board was a cost-effective alternative for those seeking compensation for personal injuries. Claimants did not have to use a solicitor nor do they have to go through lengthy legal proceedings which reduced how much the general public pays for insurance.
But with awards of up to €75,000 possible for Circuit Court cases under these reforms, using the Injuries Board to resolve claims will become a less attractive option in the eyes of claimants and begin the vicious cycle of higher costs which will ultimately be passed onto motorists many of whom are safe drivers.