Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD today launched a public consultation seeking views on how to enhance and reform the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

Since its establishment in 2004 the PIAB model has delivered major benefits by providing a low-cost, quick and fair option in injury compensation. The PIAB system annually saves tens of millions of euro which would otherwise be paid in processing costs by the parties, and ultimately by policyholders. However, the number of cases being finalised through PIAB has fallen in recent years.

In line with Action 18 of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking observations from the public and interested parties on the role of PIAB and the operation of the PIAB Acts 2003-2019.

Speaking on the launch of the public consultation, Minister Troy said: “This consultation is an important action in the Government’s insurance reform agenda. Reforming the PIAB process has been a top priority for me since taking office and as Minister with responsibility for PIAB. I have met regularly with PIAB and a range of representative bodies to assess the role of PIAB and develop proposals to enhance and reform the Agency. 

“The 2nd Motor Report from the Central Bank clearly shows why reform is necessary.  The clear message to the public from the report is financially they are hardly any better off going through the legal route for personal injury claims, and indeed it will take nearly twice as long for an almost similar sized settlement.”

Minister Troy added: “The proposals I am considering cover both administrative changes within the current process as well as potential legislative changes to increase the number of cases kept within the PIAB system. This consultation will run parallel to the ongoing work of officials from my Department who continue working with PIAB and are actively developing proposals for legislative reform.

“The overarching principle of my approach is to have more personal injury cases resolved by PIAB in a faster timeframe and with lower costs. I am confident that meaningful reforms will arise in PIAB.”

He continued: “I am committed to delivering real reform of the PIAB model that helps reduce the cost of litigation and ultimately premiums. I would ask all interested parties to consider the issues highlighted in this public consultation and to submit their views and proposals on how to incentivise use of the PIAB model. Given the high cost of insurance is an issue that has an impact on the economy and society, I also encourage responses from members of the public to have their say on the proposed reform of PIAB.”

The overarching objective in seeking to enhance and reform PIAB is to bring more cases within PIAB’s ambit and reduce the number of cases that progress to litigation. Encouraging more claimants and respondents to avail of the PIAB model should lead to cost savings in the claims environment and should ultimately lead to reductions in insurance premiums.

As part of this process observations are sought from interested parties on the role of PIAB and the operation of the PIAB Acts 2003-2019.

The deadline for submissions or comments is 17 April 2021.