Insurance Ireland concerned Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill will not take costs out of the claims settlement system
Issued Friday June 30 2017. Insurance Ireland has expressed concern that the draft Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill may not go far enough to strengthen PIAB’s powers to settle more claims and reduce costs in the claims settlement process.
Insurance Ireland supports the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and has long advocated for its powers to be strengthened to enable the swift and efficient settlement of claims. In 2014, Insurance Ireland made a submission to the Public Consultation on the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) Acts which included a call for powers which would require claimants to attend medicals and to submit all information requested by the PIAB to enable it to fully conduct its assessment.
While the draft Bill proposes that a subsequent Court hearing shall have regard to a lack of cooperation with PIAB’s request, such as a failure to attend a medical without reasonable cause, there is a concern that the deficiencies in the current process will not be addressed with this proposed legislation.
Insurance Ireland CEO Kevin Thompson stated “The key issues are the high level of personal injury awards and the high cost of settling claims relative to other jurisdictions. Insurance Ireland want to strengthen the powers of PIAB to enable it to settle claims swiftly and efficiently. However, under this Bill, if a claimant is unwilling to comply, the PIAB will still not be able to make a full assessment of their medical condition and recommend an appropriate award.”
“Unfortunately, the PIAB may still be by-passed and this can result in expensive claims costs. For the Bill’s proposals to work, a lack of compliance with the PIAB process should be fully recognised by a Court when claims are being assessed.”
“In addition, the proposed measures must be accompanied by international benchmarking of our personal injury awards to prevent situations where an average whiplash award here is €15,000 versus €5,000 in the UK. The opportunity this Bill provides to reduce claims settlement costs and bring stability to the market should not be missed. Insurance Ireland will engage with all stakeholders to ensure the Bill realises this opportunity.”
Communications Manager, Insurance Ireland
Tel: (+353) 01 644 7781 / 087 938 3852