Wednesday 1 May, 2019 Dublin: There has been increased focus on insurance companies in the ongoing debate on the need to reduce the cost of personal injury claims and the degree to which insurers are focused on their customers genuine needs. What is lost in all this debate and discussion is that the core role of an insurance company is to pay customers’ claims when they need it most. One of Ireland’s leading insurance companies, Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC today announced that the company paid almost 99% of general insurance claims last year, an increase of 2% over the previous year. This equates in value to a pay out of a staggering €182 million that was paid to customers and third-party claimants during 2018.
Taking a deeper dive into the detail of the claims, the majority of the total received (85%) were for motor claims, with almost €64 million paid to third party claimants as a result of personal injury awards. Of those third-party claims that were paid out, whiplash remains the predominant injury accounting for almost 90% of the total.
Commenting John Farrell, Head of General Insurance Claims, Aviva said: “We are in the business of providing cover to our customers for both themselves and their properties. Our function is to support our customers when things go wrong which unfortunately does happen. We have a team of professionals who work hard to make this process as straightforward as we can for our customers.
“In addition, we have invested significant resources – both human and financial to stem the growth in the level and frequency of fraudulent claims that we are seeing in the system. This includes a network of some 50 retired gardai contracted to work with us on cases as well as an additional 35 people, all of whom are dedicated to identifying and fighting fraud. Our policy is that, where we suspect or have determined that a claim is fraudulent, we will fight that claim – up to and including in the courts. We have and continue to see progress in this regard.
“We will continue to pay all genuine claims, whilst continuing to advocate for claims reform. In addition, we will continue to lobby for insurance reform as being the only way to reduce claim costs. This must start with reducing the level of payouts in Ireland which currently run at 4.4 times the level paid in England (and Wales). This is essential if we are to deliver more sustainable and lower premiums to our customers”, concluded John Farrell.