Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Personal Injuries Assessment Board
104. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his progress to date in the reform of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43930/20]
Tackling high insurance costs is a priority for Minister Troy and the Tánaiste who Chairs the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment's Sub-group on Insurance Reform. The Sub-group is overseeing an ambitious reform agenda as set out in the recently launched Action Plan for Insurance Reform.
The Programme for Government sets out a commitment to enhance and reform the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). The PIAB model delivers major benefits by providing a low-cost, quick and impartial assessment in injury compensation. However, there has been a decrease in the number of claim settlements reached through PIAB in recent years resulting in higher legal costs and longer times to settle for injured parties.
As set out in the Action Plan for Insurance Reform, my Department is currently considering the role and remit of PIAB. In particular, my officials with PIAB, are considering how to increase the number of cases which are settled by PIAB without recourse to litigation. The 2nd Motor Report of the National Claims Information Database shows why this is necessary. The Report shows there is little benefit in rejecting a PIAB award when it takes nearly twice as long to settle a case through litigation and for a similar sized settlement.
I have prioritised the reform of PIAB and have instructed my officials to examine potential measures to enhance PIAB’s remit and role. These measures relate to both administrative changes within the current PIAB system as well as potential legislative changes to increase the number of cases kept within the PIAB system. This work is ongoing. As set out in the Action Plan for Insurance Reform, we will report on progress early in 2021.
PIAB reform and the full implementation of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform will help to ensure that we have an insurance system which is both affordable and reliable and one which underpins a vibrant economy.