Judicial Council Decision – Important Step on the Way to Aid SME’s – Brokers Ireland Release

Tue Mar 9 2021

Commenting on the Judicial Council decision in favour on new guidelines on personal injury awards, Brokers Ireland said today (Sunday) that unless the personal injuries environment is rendered more like that of other countries, Ireland will remain an unattractive market for new insurance providers to consider, particularly new providers willing to write employers’ liability and public liability insurances. Such are needed to ensure adequate provision and a competitive insurance market for Irish businesses.

The organisation, which represents 1,225 broker firms, said this weekend’s decision by the Judicial Council was an important step on the “long-running reform agenda” aimed at assisting Ireland’s beleaguered SMEs, which are particularly impacted by a lack of competition in the insurance market.

Cathie Shannon Director of General Insurance Services at Brokers Ireland said news that Ireland’s judges have voted to adopt new guidelines aimed at reducing some general damages awards, particularly for minor injuries, is very welcome.  “It is of course vital that injured parties be adequately compensated where another party is at fault for their injury; however, the indications are that award levels in Ireland particularly for minor injuries, are out of kilter with international norms. This has a huge impact on all businesses, particularly businesses that are open to members of the public. Reducing the cost of Employers Liability and Public Liability insurance for SMEs is one of the recommendations in the first Report of the SME Task Force and this is an important step on that path.

“The guidelines propose a modest increase in awards for the catastrophically injured with the maximum general damages for such injures to be increased from €500,000 to €550,000, which hopefully shows that those who are more seriously injured need not fear that their compensation may be inadequate,” she said.  “Whilst the Judicial Council decision will not impact claims already in the courts system, it does give great hope that we may, at last, be making a breakthrough on an issue that has seemed intractable for so long.” she concluded.



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