30-day limit placed on accident claims

A Statutory Instrument has just been signed into law that requires anyone making a claim against a business to inform the potential defendant within 30 days of the incident taking place.

In amending Section 8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 so that the period for reporting personal injury accidents has been reduced to one month, this ‘CCTV claims loophole’ has now been closed.

Section 8 satisfies the Alliance for Insurance Reform’s ‘Ask No 2’ of 10: “Amend Section 8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 to make it mandatory and reduce the period for reporting accidents to 1 month”.

The AIR has welcomed the development but pointed out that the Amendment to Section 8 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 forms part of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill 2018.

While the Bill will also provide a much-needed claims database, the Alliance is disappointed that control of the database will sit with the Central Bank and not the Personal Injuries Assessment Board but as such it represents a step in the right direction for insurance reform.

This will bring an end to a loophole which has seen many businesses lacking vital CCTV evidence for defending claims which have been submitted some considerable time after the purported accident took place on the premises.

This is important to hospitality businesses as the 30-day limit on making a claim is now compatible with GDPR data protection legislation requiring that general CCTV footage be retained for one month only.

Additionally, the Vintners Federation of Ireland understands that judges are now obliged to take failure to inform into account, whereas previously, they merely ‘may’ have taken such a failure into account.

The Alliance hopes that other commitments on insurance can be progressed quickly now so that real reforms in public liability insurance for Irish businesses and voluntary groups can begin, leading to reduced premia.

The AIR has stressed that this Act is not in itself the solution to all the Alliance’s issues. A raft of additional legislation, plus the Garda Insurance Fraud Unit, will be required to properly reform the insurance market, so the AIR will be increasing pressure on the relevant Ministers over the next few weeks to ensure this happens.

Peter Boland of the Alliance added, “This is progress by the government in preventing exaggerated and misleading claims in Ireland, it’s hoped that further progress can be made on delivering our 10 Asks for real insurance reform.”




Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free