Injuries Board concerned that “Claim Farmers” are promoting a claims culture

The Injuries Board has expressed fears of a re-emerging claims culture in its recently published annual review for 2012. The Board have reported that overall claims have risen by one-third since 2007. The Board has not highlighted in its report, however, that Public Liability (PL) claims have risen even more significantly, up by over 37%, from 6069 to 8332. On the other hand, employer liability (EL) claims have fallen by over 9%.

The Injuries Board Annual Review reveals that the Injuries Board last year:


  1. Received 28,962 new claims compared to 27,669 in 2011 and 26,964 in 2010.
  2. Made 10,136 awards, valued at €217.94m, compared to 9,833 (€209.8m) in 2011 and 8,380 (€186.6m) in 2010.
  3. Made an average award across Motor, EL and PL, of €21,502 compared to €21,339 in 2011 and €22,271 in 2010.
  4. The average time to process a claim was 7.2 months compared to 6.5 months in 2009.
  5. 75% of all awards were motor claims, with just 8% EL claims arising from work related accidents and 17% PL claims.


Commentating at the annual review, Injuries Board Chief Executive, Patricia Byron, said that continuing but consistent increase in claims over the past 5 years, “is a real concern”. The trends she added coincide with a significant increase in promotion and advertising by claims handling intermediaries. She said the Board has raised concerns that these specialist claims farming firms are “promoting a claims culture that could result in a higher insurance premium for consumers and businesses”.  She suggests there is a need to address the regulatory gap where Solicitors are banned from advertising but not claims farmers. The upcoming Legal Services Bill presents an opportunity to address this gap by extending the ban on advertising to cover claims handling firms.

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