Moves to tackle crippling insurance costs makes decisive breakthrough

Thursday, 11th July, 2019 12:38pm

Moves to tackle crippling insurance costs makes decisive breakthrough

Flashback to a front page story in The Connaught Telegraph in April 2018 which reported on the closure of a public house and restaurant in Castlebar, Bosh, due to crippling insurance premiums.

The passage of the Judicial Council Bill is a major milestone in ongoing work to reduce the cost of insurance, Mayo FG general election candidate Alan Dillon has said.

Dillon was speaking after the passage of the Bill through the House of the Oireachtas.

It will soon be signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins.

The Castlebar-based representative said: “This landmark legislation will reform how the judiciary operates, promoting standards of excellence.

“This Bill will establish for the first time a council composed of all members of the judiciary, and will provide for the first time, a statutory basis for the appropriate training for judges and for the investigation of complaints against judges.

“And importantly in relation to insurance, the Bill provides for the setting up of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee.

“This committee will have responsibility for compiling guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injuries.

“Insurance costs have become a serious concern for small businesses and voluntary groups and a multi-pronged approach is needed to solve the problem of high premiums that are having a significant impact on those businesses and other parties affected.

“One of the most important challenges to be overcome is to bring personal injury awards in line with other jurisdictions.

“There will also need to be buy-in from the insurance industry who have admitted to making very large profits. The government has pressed the industry to publicly commit to reducing prices in the event that awards are revised downwards.

“This legislation is just one of a number of pieces of legislation in train that will bring about insurance reform, including the Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018, the Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill 2017 and the Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019.”

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