As the Judicial Council prepares Personal Injuries Guidelines to replace the Book of Quantum, the Alliance for Insurance Reform has called on the judiciary to have regard to the common good in their deliberations and reduce awards for minor personal injuries by 80%.

The Judicial Council is scheduled to adopt and publish new judicial guidelines on damages for personal injuries by 31st July at the latest. These new guidelines will replace the current Book of Quantum guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded in personal injury claims. It is understood that draft guidelines are to be considered at a meeting of the full Judicial Council on the 5th February.

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance, which represents charities, voluntary and community groups, sports and cultural organisations and SMEs severely affected by insurance costs said “The single biggest element of the cost of insurance, as determined by the Cost of Insurance Working Group, the Personal Injuries Commission and the Central Bank’s National Claims Information Database, is compensation; and general damages for minor injuries account for the vast majority of compensation payouts. What we award for minor, fully recovered injuries in Ireland is 4.4 times higher than in England & Wales and further multiples higher than other European jurisdictions. An 80% reduction on minor injuries would only bring us down to where England and Wales currently are and would still be nowhere near the equivalent damages in other European countries – and England and Wales are further slashing their damages for minor whiplash injuries later this year.

“We call on the Judicial Council to have regard to the common good in reducing general damages for fully recovered minor injuries by at least 80% to reflect international norms and norms already established by the Court of Appeal.

“We are not talking about damages for serious injuries here. Where a person is seriously injured due the negligence of someone else, they must be properly compensated and that is what insurance is there for. What we are talking about are the bumps, bruises and mild, fully recovered whiplash injuries where treatment ends when the legal action is finished. We reward these injuries at a level unprecedented in Europe and these are the awards that are damaging Irish society.”

Tracy Sheridan, owner of Kidspace play centres in Rathfarnham and Rathcoole and director of the Alliance said “Insurance costs remain an existential issue for Irish SMEs, charities, sports and cultural organisations, voluntary and community groups. The Irish economy is not going to recover from Covid-19 through SMEs, or Irish society through the voluntary & community sector, unless insurance is sorted.”

Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy at the Wheel (Ireland’s national association of community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises) and director of the Alliance said “This is a singular opportunity for the judiciary to have a profoundly positive impact on Irish community and voluntary groups and small businesses.“



“The single biggest element of the cost of insurance…is compensation”: See Alliance for Insurance Reform Fact Sheet No. 2 “Who Gets What?” graphic.

“Damages for minor injuries account for the vast majority of compensation payouts”: See PIAB – Insights into the Personal Injury Environment, November 2019

“What we are talking about are the bumps, bruises and mild, fully recovered whiplash injuries where treatment ends when the legal action is finished.”:

Overall, the Alliance expects general damages for minor, fully recovered soft tissue injuries to be recalibrated in the manner reflected in the ISME Fair Book of Quantum which corresponds with our own independent academic advice.

The Alliance for Insurance Reform brings together 39 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 55,000 members, 690,000 employees, 599,000 volunteers and 374,000 students in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums and calling for real reforms that will quickly reduce liability and motor insurance premiums to affordable levels and keep them that way. Our members include:

  • AOIFE Ireland (Association of Irish Festival Events)
  • Car Rental Council of Ireland
  • Childminding Ireland
  • Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland
  • Community Reuse Network Ireland
  • Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association
  • Cork Business Association
  • Early Childhood Ireland
  • Family Business Network Ireland
  • Federation of Irish Sport
  • Galway Chamber
  • Galway City Business Association
  • Galway County Public Participation Network (PPN)
  • Ireland Active
  • Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism
  • Irish Caravan and Camping Council
  • Irish Concrete Federation
  • Irish Hotels Federation
  • Irish Road Haulage Association
  • Irish Showman’s Guild
  • Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network
  • Irish Travel Agents Association
  • ISME
  • Licensed Vintners Association
  • Motorsport Ireland
  • Nursing Homes Ireland
  • Play Activity and Leisure Ireland
  • Quick Service Food Alliance
  • Restaurants Association of Ireland
  • Retail Excellence
  • Sligo PPN
  • Society of the Irish Motor Industry
  • South Dublin County PPN
  • Sport Ireland
  • Union of Students in Ireland
  • Vintners Federation of Ireland
  • Volunteer Ireland
  • The Wheel (Ireland’s national association for community, voluntary and charitable organisations)

For further details contact: