Committee to review compensation award levels as Ireland 'out of kilter with international norms'

Committee to review compensation award levels as Ireland 'out of kilter with international norms'
File photo.

A personal injuries committee made up of judges has been selected to examine the insurance industry in Ireland.

The announcement was made this morning by Chief Justice Frank Clarke at an insurance fraud conference in Dublin.

It comes amid ongoing criticism over the level of compensation payouts in Ireland.

Mr Justice Clarke says the committee will get to work straight away, despite not being formally established by law.

"One of the issues that they will have to consider is bench-marking Irish damages," he said adding that this would be done by referencing damages in other countries including, but not limited to, the UK.

"If they were to wait until they are formally established before commencing that process, that would take time.

"But there is no reason why the process of putting in place that research, cannot start straight away," Mr Justice Clark added.

The news was welcomed by Ibec, the body that represents Irish businesses.

“Ibec has long argued that a reduction of up to 75% is merited across a wide range of bodily injuries, said Ibec head of infrastructure Dr Neil Walker.

"The findings of the Personal Injuries Commission confirmed our own research, namely that Ireland is way out of kilter with international norms."

“This review, if completed quickly and implemented effectively, has significant potential to stem the crippling cost of employer and public liability insurance premiums.”

Last month a senior judge claimed the insurance industry in Ireland is “fundamentally dishonest”.

In a report in The Sunday Business Post Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that Ireland’s ‘compo culture’ and fraudulent claims are responsible for a rise in insurance premiums.

This assertion was rejected by Insurance Ireland.

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