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News & Events

Government welcomes further evidence of decrease in personal injury awards following publication of guidelines

Report published today by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) shows average general damages have decreased by 46%

Average PIAB award is now €14,000 compared with  €24,000 in 2020

71% of awards are now €15,000 or less compared to 30% of PIAB awards in 2020

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, the Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys TD, the Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy TD and the Minister of State for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance Sean Fleming TD, today (Friday the 15th of October) welcomed the publication by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) of their report on average award levels under the Personal Injury Guidelines.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said:

“Insurance reform is one of my top priorities as Tánaiste. Premiums have been too high for too long. I know many businesses and volunteer groups also continue to struggle to find insurance too. These figures, published by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board today are really welcome and although we will continue to monitor the situation closely, they do show that the Guidelines are having an effect.

 “We can see that average general damages awarded by PIAB under the new Guidelines is now €11,808, which is a 46% decrease compared with 2020. Nearly half of all awards are under €10,000 – last year, only 12% were under this amount. This is based on a much larger sample than our previous figures. I expect this dramatic drop in award levels to be reflected in reduced premiums for individuals, businesses and volunteer groups and Government will continue to work with the insurance sector to make sure this is the case.

 Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Hildegarde Naughton TD, said: 

 “I welcome this latest PIAB data, which clearly shows the Guidelines are having a significant positive impact in reducing personal injury awards.

 “I am committed to driving reform in a number of areas across the insurance sector such as litigation costs and duty of care. In line with the commitment in the Action Plan, my Department will submit a report on the impact of the Personal Injuries Guidelines at the end of this year. Work is already underway in preparing this. We are liaising with PIAB and other stakeholders including the Central Bank, the Courts Service and the insurance sector to ensure it is informed by robust data and insightful analysis.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion Robert Troy TD said:

“We all know that for too long, the cost and availability of insurance has had a negative impact on our economy and our society. The Personal Injury Guidelines were just one measure brought forward under the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform, and I thank PIAB for this early analysis of awards levels since their introduction in April. It is evident that the Guidelines are having an impact, with 71% of awards under €15,000 compared to 30% of PIAB awards in 2020.  While this progress is welcome, I am committed to progressing a programme of legislative reform in the coming weeks to strengthen PIAB and ensure more personal injury cases can be resolved by PIAB in a faster timeframe and with lower costs."

Minister of State for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance Sean Fleming TD said:

“I welcome the publication of this data by PIAB, it shows the Government’s ambitious reform agenda in the insurance sector is making real progress. This is highlighted by the fact that the average PIAB award is now €14,000 compared to €24,000 before these guidelines. It’s important that we see the insurance industry meet their public commitments to pass on their reduction in costs to their customers. The new personal injury guidelines have created stability for the insurance industry, and this is making Ireland a more attractive place to sell insurance. We have identified a number of key business sectors that need more insurance competition and I am working closely with the IDA to attract new insurance operators into the Irish market.”

Notes for Editors

Personal Injuries Guidelines

The Personal Injuries Guidelines were adopted by the Judicial Council on the 6th March 2021. The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, appointed Saturday the 24th of April 2021 as the commencement date of the Personal Injuries Guidelines.

The Guidelines set out the level of damages that may be awarded or assessed in respect of personal injuries. The Guidelines reduce award levels for most categories of personal injury and will be used by both the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and the courts to assess compensation in such claims.

The Personal Injuries Guidelines deal with a wide range of injuries in terms of General Damages, they do not change Special Damages, which are costs like medical or travel expenses or compensation for loss of wages.

The Book of Quantum will continue to apply where Personal Injuries Assessment Board assessments have been made or where a hearing is already before the courts.

Under the Action Plan on Insurance Reform, the Department of Justice will report on the implementation and early impact of the Personal Injury Guidelines by December 2021.

The Guidelines are required, under the terms of the Judicial Council Act 2019, to be reviewed within three years of being adopted and every three years thereafter.

PIAB

PIAB is a state agency under the aegis of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It was established in 2004 and is Ireland’s independent State body which assesses personal injuries compensation in a timely and cost-efficient manner. PIAB assesses claims for compensation arising from personal injuries sustained as a result of a motor, workplace or public liability incident.

Since its establishment the PIAB model has delivered major benefits by providing a low-cost, quick and fair option in injury compensation. The PIAB system annually saves tens of millions of euro which would otherwise be paid in processing costs by the parties, and ultimately by policyholders.

ENDS