If personal injury claims have declined, why are premiums continuing to rise?

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Liability bodily injury claims have more than halved over the past decade, while legislative reform has also caused payments for such claims to drop by more than 40%. And yet, insurance premiums continue to rise.

A combination of fewer claims, lower payments and less business activity due to Covid has combined to dramatically reduce the future risk factor for insurance companies, but they continue to defraud individuals, businesses and charities.

For decades, we have heard insurers’ demands for reform of the claims system that they believe were costing them dearly and resulting in higher premiums for their clients.

Successive governments have taken up these arguments by creating the Personal Injury Assessment Council (PIAB) in 2004. for many associated litigation costs.

According to PIAB, it has evaluated more than 130,000 cases since its inception and more than 60% of applicants have accepted its evaluations.

Newer legislation and guidelines aim to significantly reduce both personal injury claims and associated legal costs.

Investigation

Still, a survey by the Alliance for Insurance Reform (AIR) found that insurance premiums for businesses and voluntary groups have increased an average of 15% since the end of April, when new guidelines on bodily injury came into effect.

AIR says premiums for home care businesses have more than doubled upon renewal, while nursing homes are seeing average increases of 35%.

Hospitality bonuses are up an additional 9% according to the group, despite a significant drop in the level of activity in the sector.

According to Eoin McCambridge, director of AIR and managing director of McCambridge’s of Galway, the total number of liability-related personal injury claims has declined by 47% in the 11 years from 2009 to 2019, and a further 16% l ‘last year :

The risk associated with every insurance premium has dropped over the past year and a half.

Mr McCambridge cited a range of measures – including the dramatic reduction in economic and social activity over the past 19 months, the start of the perjury law and the exclusion of Covid-19 from many police forces. assurance.

It is worth recalling the Central Bank report of last July which revealed that the average cost of civil liability and damage insurance premiums for businesses increased by 24% between 2013 and 2019, from € 1,828 to € 2,269.

Insurers have insisted for years that claims cause insurance costs, so if claims go up, premiums go up too. It seems logical but, by the same measure, the reverse should also apply – lower claims lead to lower premiums.

However, this did not happen. It is now clear that it is the insurance industry that needs reform and if this were to involve legislation to limit profits, so be it.

Insurers will have only themselves to blame.

A healthy and profitable insurance industry is important for the proper functioning of the economy. A foodie who exploits his customers is not.


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