Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Personal Injuries Assessment Board

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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139. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his plans to enhance the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43789/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Programme for Government sets out a commitment to enhancing and reforming 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 and an increase in the number of claims that are settled outside of the PIAB process 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, and in particular, 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, published in November, by the Central Bank clearly shows why this is necessary. It shows there is little benefit in rejecting a PIAB award, that it takes nearly twice as long to settle a case through litigation and for a similar sized settlement.

My colleague Minster Troy, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, has prioritised the reform of PIAB and has instructed his officials to examine a number of potential measures to enhance PIAB’s remit and role within the overall scope of insurance reform in Ireland. These measures relate to both administrative changes within the current process as well as potential legislative changes to increase the number of cases kept within the PIAB system.

The cost and availability of insurance is a hugely significant issue for consumers and businesses in our country. 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.


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