Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Personal Injuries Assessment Board
189. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the status of the implementation of the recommendations made in the Action Plan for Insurance Reform in relation to the Personal Injury Assessment Board; the number of recommendations that have not been implemented to date; the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43849/20]
On the 8th December 2020, I launched the Government’s first Action Plan for Insurance Reform. The Plan sets out 66 actions to bring down costs for consumers and business; introduce more competition into the market; prevent fraud and reduce the burden on business, community and voluntary organisations.
Four actions in the Plan relate 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 fair option in injury compensation. However, PIAB have seen decreases in their number of claim settlements in recent years and an increased number of claims are settled by litigation resulting in higher legal costs and longer times to settle.
Minister Troy has prioritised the reform of PIAB and, in line with the timeline for implementation of the second commitment in the Action Plan, has instructed his officials to work closely with PIAB to develop a roadmap for reform arising from these proposals by year end. A particular focus of this work is how to increase the number of cases which are settled by PIAB without recourse to litigation. The 2nd Motor Report from the Central Bank, published in November, 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. Working with PIAB, officials are examining 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 other two commitments in the Plan relate to holding a public consultation on reform measures and delivering an enhanced role for PIAB. These are due for completion in 2021.
Insurance is a hugely significant issue for consumers and businesses in our country. 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.