Tuesday, October 01 10:24:49
During the first six months of 2013, the total compensation awarded to personal injury claimants increased by 8.3pc to E118million, according to a mid-year analysis undertaken by the Injuries Board.
Compensation was awarded to 5,286 personal injury claimants, a 2pc increase on the number of awards made during the first six months of 2012.
A small number of exceptionally high awards in the period pushed up the average award to E22,349, from E21,502 in 2012. The volume of new claims in the six months to June 2013 increased by 10pc albeit this has eased somewhat to 6.7pc year to date. A higher volume of motor claims, typically of lower value, contributed to this increase.
Publishing the figures, Patricia Byron, CEO of the Injuries Board said that, given the link between claims volumes and insurance premiums, the Injuries Board monitors claims volumes very closely.
"Despite double digit increases in the first half of 2013, claims volumes slowed in the third quarter and a continuation of that trend could see full year volume increases being pared back to about 5pc - on par with prior years. On this basis and given a 30pc reduction in the Board's processing fee to respondents (mainly insurers), we see no basis for insurance premium hikes at this time," she said.
"The Board has delivered processing cost savings of E26.8m to mid year and this is expected to increase to E52m by year end. These reductions should help offset the increasing number of smaller value, motor related claims sparked by the recessionary environment and promotional activity by claims farming firms. These factors together with the potential future impact of proposed changes to Court award limits warrant ongoing monitoring," Ms. Byron added.