Alliance releases second infographic on Ireland’s insurance crisis. Warns that without dramatic reductions in damages, crisis will go on indefinitely.

The Alliance for Insurance Reform has today launched the second in a series of infographics summarising key facts about the Irish insurance market.

Key new insights from the infographic include:

  • Compensation accounts for 42% of the total cost of insurance premiums – by far the biggest component
  • Lawyers fees, underwriters profits and brokers’ commissions extract roughly equal amounts from premiums
  • Lawyers are the massive winners when a case goes to the courts. Policyholders do not gain from threatening to go to court.
  • Insurers have been the big winners from the current crisis, as claims costs held steady but premiums shot up by 42%

Linda Murray, Director of the Alliance and owner of Huckleberry’s Den play centre in Navan said “The figures make it clear that compensation payments are at the heart of our problem. Damages are by far the biggest component of insurance premiums and are a facilitator for every other element, including solicitor’s fees, insurer profitability and brokers’ commissions.  General damages for minor fully-recovered injuries must be dramatically reduced. Responsibility for this task is currently with the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee of the Judicial Council and the Committee is supposed to present draft guidelines to the Board of the Judicial Council by the 28th October. These guidelines are intended to replace the current Book of Quantum. We have installed a countdown clock on the Alliance’s website counting down to that date and we very much look forward to seeing the judiciary reflect the common good in their deliberations. Policyholders cannot wait any longer. We expect general damages for minor injuries to be dramatically reduced along the lines of the Fair Book of Quantum published by ISME.”

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance said  “The analysis in this infographic is intended to add clarity to a crisis that has lacked many real data insights up to now. The lack of clarity has suited attempts by insurers and solicitors to muddy the waters as they fight to protect their massive profits. The analysis was made possible by the publication of the Central Bank’s National Claims Information Database on Private Motor Insurance and we are grateful to the Central Bank for this. But the Central Bank now needs to publish equivalent liability insurance data without any further delay. Insurance reform cannot be directed or measured without data.”