CENTRAL BANK AUDIT OF INSURANCE COMPANY INJURY CLAIMS
“For claims assessments that were made by the InjuriesBoard.ie and subsequently rejected, it was noted that the ultimate settlement was higher than the InjuriesBoard.ie assessment” – Central Bank of Ireland
The above statement is from a recently discovered Central Bank document which had been circulated to some of Ireland’s largest insurance companies. It is quite explosive in that it seems to confirm the anecdotal evidence of personal injury solicitors that injured parties risk getting substantially less compensation if they do not engage a reputable solicitor to negotiate on their behalf.
This article is written by personal injury solicitor Roddy Tyrrell, publisher of Lawyer.ie & Principal of Tyrrell Solicitors.
To arrange a consultation by phone or in person, contact him using the enquiry form or call (01)6671476.
BACKGROUND TO THE AUDIT INVESTIGATION
In 2011 the Central Bank instigated a ‘desktop audit’ of 25 non-life insurance companies in Ireland to assess their compliance with regard to Third Party Personal Injury Claims.
The audit looked at file reports from 6.672 third party personal injury claims cases that had been settled or closed in 2010.
The Central Bank subsequently wrote to the insurance companies concerned and whilst they did not divulge the raw data associated with their audit, a letter from them to the insurance company management did become available and contains some very interesting findings;
KEY CENTRAL BANK QUOTES FOR VICTIMS OF PERSONAL INJURY
“20% of claims were closed within 3 months. Whilst the Central Bank is aware that some claims maybe more straightforward than others the Central Bank would expect all insurers to make every effort to establish the prognosis of an injury before making any settlement offer.”
“For claims assessments that were made by the InjuriesBoard.ie and subsequently rejected, it was noted that the ultimate settlement was higher than the InjuriesBoard.ie assessment”
[Lesson #2: Going it alone into the Injuries Board process without a solicitor risks having a lower compensation payout]
“It was noted that some insurers are in the practice of issuing a settlement cheque at the same time as informing the claimant of the terms of the settlement offer.The Central Bank would advise insurers that the revised Consumer Protection Code, which will be published later this month, includes requirements that the terms of a settlement offer must be made in writing to the claimant and that the claimant must be allowed at least 10 business days to consider the terms of a settlement offer and to communicate acceptance or rejection of the offer.”
[Lesson #3: Don’t get bounced into accepting an early offer from the insurance company or the Injuries Board. Consult with a reputable personal injury solicitor who is motivated to work on your behalf to get the best deal]
If you wish to speak to a solicitor regarding this issue, call (01)667 1476 or use the request form here.