InjuriesBoard.ie PUBLISHES REVIEW OF 2010
Lower Costs Should Facilitate Lower Insurance Premiums For Consumers And Businesses • Compensation awards down €30m since 2008 • Workplace accident claims down 10% • Injuries Board fees to reduce by up to 20% (up to €2m annually) • No surge in claims following adverse weather Significant cost savings are emerging for insurance providers in respect of personal injury claims and these savings should translate to lower insurance premiums for consumers and businesses, according to Injuries Board CEO, Patricia Byron. Preliminary year-end data from InjuriesBoard.ie shows that compensation totalling €187 million was awarded in 2010 in respect of 8,381 personal injury claimants. The numbers show a €30m (13.8%) reduction in the value of Awards since 2008 despite claims volumes increasing to 26,964 (9%) over the same period.
reduce its fees to respondents by €200 (19%) and to claimants by €5 (10%), should have a positive impact on insurance premiums for consumers. Commenting, Patricia Byron, CEO, Injuries Board.ie said: “Our aim is to fully compensate accident victims but to reduce processing costs. This should mean savings of up to €205 per claim for insurers in 2011. This is in addition to existing annual savings of up to €100m arising from the Board’s non-adversarial model. We believe it is incumbent on insurers to pass on these benefits to hard pressed consumers and businesses rather than constantly flagging reasons why premiums should increase.
The trends reflect a change in the composition of claims and in particular a 10% reduction in the volume of higher value, employer liability claims in 2010. Claims across motor and public liability (typically of lower value) increased by 6% and 8% in the same period. These increases have been more than offset by the decline in workplace claims, reducing the average 2010 award by 4% to €22,271.
“Another factor facilitating lower insurance premiums is a reduction in the number of workplace accident claims coming to the Board, not least due to lower employment in the economy, especially in sectors like construction and manufacturing. In addition, despite severe weather conditions in the first half of January 2010 we have not seen a surge of public liability claims, as some had predicted. In fact our data indicates that there were fewer public liability claims in January 2010 than in January 2009” Ms Byron said.
These reductions taken together with a recent initiative by the Injuries Board to
2010 was a significant year for the Board in the courts. It brought to a conclusion the
Key facts No. of new Claims No. of Awards Total value of awards Average award Average time to process claim % of total awards Average award in 2010
2010 26,964 8,381 €187m €22,271 6.9 months Motor 74% €21,000
2009 25,949 8,645 €200m €23,163 6.5 months
2008 24,751 8,845 €217m €24,552 7 months
Employer Liability 11% €28,000
2007 23,345 8,208 €181m €22,057 7 months
Public Liability 15% €23,400
O’Brien case, with the Taxing Master dramatically reducing the legal costs sought against the Board. In October and November 2010 the High Court dismissed twenty one other Judicial Reviews against the Injuries Board. In all twenty one cases, the claimants had accepted the Board’s award for damages but had challenged its refusal to allow all the legal costs claimed by their solicitor. “The clarification provided by the conclusion of these cases highlights the benefits for claimants of applying directly to the Board. By doing so, claimants can save significant legal fees, often in the region of €2,000, but sometimes as high as €5,000” Ms Byron said.
Operational Summary 2010: Nearly three quarters of awards (74%) were for injuries from road traffic accidents while the remainder were split between workplace (11%) and public place (15%) accidents. Counties Longford and Limerick accounted for the largest number of awards as a proportion of population. County Kilkenny had the lowest number of awards per head of population. The lowest and highest awards in 2010 were €500 and €387,286 respectively. The preliminary data indicates that almost two thirds of all awards (63%) made by the Board are for less than €20,000. Injuries Board.ie is self funded through a fee on those who are responsible for injuries arising from motor, workplace and public liability accidents, as well as a modest charge to claimants.
risk manager magazine spring 2011