Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Personal Injury Claims
29. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the status of the introduction of legislation to enhance the powers of the PIAB in relation to a recommendation made in the report on the cost of motor insurance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16813/18]
What is the status of legislation to enhance the powers of PIAB on foot of recommendations in the report of on the cost of motor insurance? The Minister might make a brief statement on that and we can then discuss it further.
On 27 June 2017 the Government gave approval to the drafting of the personal injuries board (amendment) Bill along the lines of the published general scheme. The purpose of the Bill is to amend existing legislation to strengthen the PIAB operationally to ensure greater compliance with the PIAB process and encourage more claims to be settled through the PIAB model. The board facilitates objective, fair and transparent assessments of damages in personal injury cases at a low delivery cost and in a timely non-adversarial manner in a far shorter timeframe than is possible through litigation, which often takes several years. According to PIAB data, 33,114 new personal injury claims were submitted in 2017 compared to 34,056 in 2016. PIAB processing costs were 6.2% of awards, which is a fraction of the cost had the claims been handled by way of litigation.
The average time taken to assess a personal injury claim was 7.3 months, compared to several years if litigation was involved. In 2017 the average PIAB award was €24,879, compared to a figure of €24,305 in 2016. Award values vary, depending on the nature and severity of cases received. The figures demonstrate that the PIAB model continues to deliver major benefits by providing a low cost, quick and fair option in injury compensation cases. The general scheme addresses issues highlighted in submissions made during the public consultation process held in 2014 by the then Minister on the operation of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Acts 2003 and 2007, in addition to issues highlighted in the report of the cost of insurance working group on the cost of motor insurance, published in January 2017, and the report on the rising costs of motor insurance published by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach. The Bill is being drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. It is technical and complex legislation which requires careful consideration during drafting in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. It is hoped to have the drafting of the Bill completed in quarter two of 2018 and published thereafter.