Tuesday, 17 December 2019
We all acknowledge in this House that the cost of insurance, be it motor insurance, public liability insurance or employer liability insurance for business people, is too high. Our objective is to bring down the cost of insurance. How do we do it? We do so through the reforms that have taken place and more that will take place in the future. One, for example, is the establishment of the national claims information database. The reason the Deputy is raising this question today is that we now have information we did not have in the past. We have that information only because of action taken by the Government on foot of the work led by the Minister of State, Deputy D'Arcy.
We reformed the PIAB, which the Deputy mentioned, by means of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 in order to encourage greater compliance with the board's process. In contrast with the Deputy's claim that we have somehow weakened the board, the opposite is the case. We have strengthened it by means of the 2019 legislation. There is also stronger Garda action, through the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, to crack down on fraudulent and exaggerated claims. Even today we are taking action on insurance costs because the Judicial Council has come into existence. The commencement order has been signed and the Judicial Council has been formally established. There is now a committee of judges that will look at the book of quantum, at the level of claims and at the awards being made by the courts in order to see if they are appropriate.