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Perspective

Comparative Values Personal Injury Compensation in Europe

January 17, 2014| By Lorenzo Vismara | Auto/Motor, General Liability, Workers' Compensation | English

Region: Europe

It’s never easy comparing claims costs in one territory with another, especially when it comes to personal injury compensation. There are different legal systems to contend with, and various systems of compensation. But the Claims Team at Gen Re has tried to take all of this into account to produce a meaningful comparison of personal injury compensation in the five largest European insurance markets: Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK.

Total premiums for accident insurance in these markets range from around EUR31 billion in Spain to more than EUR94 billion in Germany.

In France, Germany and the UK, the main determinant of the final quantum of compensation for fatal injuries is the income of the victim and, as a consequence, the economic damages suffered by the claimants. For Spain and Italy (the latter has its own unique system), the significant proportion of compensation is for non-economic damages (i.e., not linked in any way to the income of the victim).

For personal injury, medical expenses as well as the cost of healthcare and rehabilitation, both now and in future, all play a central role in the evaluation and settlement of damages. The important element here is the diversity of national health and social welfare systems across Europe. In cases of serious injury, blanket compensation systems, as found in Spain in Italy, tend to result in lower levels of compensation.

But what’s clear from the survey is that the creation of some sort of standardised injury compensation concept across Europe is a long way off, and so there will continue to be misleading comparisons made between injuries and the final amount of compensation paid in different territories.

Read our Claims Focus publication for more on personal injury compensation across Europe.

 

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