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New Legislation Aims to Reduce Insurance Costs and Injury Claims

By August 4, 2023 August 12th, 2023 No Comments
Significant Court Ruling

New legislation has taken effect today as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform, aimed at reducing insurance claims and costs for businesses.

The law seeks to rebalance the responsibility between occupiers (businesses, community groups, and event organizers) and visitors, recreational users, and trespassers.

Under the new law, if a visitor injures themselves on someone’s property where reasonable safety measures were taken, the visitor will now bear some responsibility for the incident. The legislation also limits when an occupier can be held liable if a person enters the premises with criminal intent.

Reduced Insurance Costs

Insurance reform campaigners have long sought these changes, believing they will lead to reduced insurance costs.

Previously, an occupier could be considered to have acted with reckless disregard if they had reasonable knowledge of a hazard. The new standard for liability considers whether the occupier acted recklessly in relation to the hazard, offering more protection to occupiers.

The legislation further allows for a broader range of scenarios where visitors or customers voluntarily assume risks resulting in harm. Minister for Justice Helen McEntee stated that personal injury guidelines have already led to a 38% reduction in court payouts and a 40% reduction in the number of court cases.

Insurers Urged to Lower Premiums

The Alliance for Insurance Reform campaign group is urging insurers to immediately lower premiums in response to these changes. The group believes that the new legislation benefits various sectors of society and encourages personal responsibility for safety, and that it also restricts the circumstances under which trespassers can pursue successful claims.

If the legislation is implemented effectively, it has the potential to change the liability landscape, reducing the number of minor slips, trips, and falls cases going through the courts. The aim is to emphasize that not all accidents are the fault of others and not every accident requires compensation.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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