Ireland has 5 times the average whiplash payout compared to Germany and France and 3 times the average payout when compared to the UK.
Speaking earlier this year to the Irish Times, Declan O’Rourke, general manager of AIG in Ireland stated “In France and Germany, the normal award for whiplash is between €2,000 and €3,000 and the legal fees are in the hundreds. In Ireland, the average award for whiplash is €15,000. So we have the most expensive necks in Europe. Ironically, in the UK, the average payout for whiplash is £5,000 and they dub themselves as the whiplash capital of Europe.”
Ireland’s average premium is approaching €1,000 per policy with extremes for young drivers approaching €6,000 per year. This unsustainable premium raise is in stark contrast to average premiums in Germany and France where drivers pay just €400 per year.
There have been calls for the powers of the Injuries Board to have greater powers. With 8 out of 10 claims in Ireland being whiplash based with the average payout up to 5 times greater than our European counterparts. Some have called for claimants to be compelled to prove their injuries with independent medical exams and proof of loss of income. With 60% of some claims going to legal costs, it has also been suggested that a cap on legal fees for whip lash claims.