Statement from Insurance Ireland on Reports of Preliminary Findings by PIAB in respect of new Personal Injuries Guidelines
July 6th 2021
Insurance Ireland welcomes today’s preliminary findings that the new Personal Injuries Guidelines are having a positive impact on awards made for minor injuries through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). We continue to strongly support the new Guidelines and the Action Plan for Insurance Reform and believe that a more stable sector, delivered through Government reform, will reduce market volatility and bring more certainty for customers and insurers alike.
The NCID report published by the Central Bank in 2020 found that 14% of cases are settled through PIAB so we look forward to any forthcoming data from the Courts. We also look forward to reading the report in full to better understand the data quoted today.
We are at one with the Government and other stakeholders on the urgent need for reform of the cost of claims regime and have campaigned on these issues for many years.
Pricing is a matter for individual companies and competition law prevents us from commenting on future pricing in the market, however, we have seen motor insurance premiums reduce over the past 24 months and are optimistic that costs will continue to be positively impacted by the further implementation of the Government’s reform plan. Member CEOs reaffirmed their commitment to this effect at recent meetings of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach, and we also understand that they made the same points in recent meetings with the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Sean Fleming.
We note that there was a spike on Court applications just prior to the enactment of the new legislation, so those claims will be assessed using the old system, however, we would like to emphasise that the Courts have been obliged to apply the same Guidelines as PIAB since April.
Today’s reports once again reiterate the importance of progressing other measures in the Action Plan for Insurance Reform, such as the strengthening of the powers of PIAB, the rebalancing of the duty of care between business and the citizen, and increasing competition in the market. It is particularly crucial that we see a strengthening of PIAB’s ability to settle cases so that fewer claims go to the Courts, where the legal costs add so much to the overall cost of settling claims.