Dublin, Ireland, 13 August The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D., today (Monday 13 August, 2018) announced the publication of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2018.
The purpose of the Bill is to strengthen the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) in order to ensure greater compliance with the PIAB process and encourage more claims to be settled through the PIAB model.
Minister Humphreys said “This is an important Bill as PIAB facilitates the objective assessment of damages at a much lower delivery cost and in a far shorter timeframe than through litigation. The Cost of Insurance Working Group Report (CIWG) on the Cost of Motor Insurance published in January 2017 suggests that the delivery costs for cases settled outside PIAB continue to be over 40% of compensation costs. Therefore, encouraging more claimants to finalise their cases through the PIAB model rather than resorting to litigation should lead to cost savings in the claims environment.”
The Bill addresses the recommendations in the CIWG Motor Report relating to cases of non-cooperation, such as non-attendance at medicals and failure to provide details of special damages or loss of earnings. The Bill facilitates the greater use of technology by PIAB as it will allow for different levels of fees to be levied by PIAB on claimants and respondents for submission of electronic and paper formats of documents. As it is cheaper to submit and process documents electronically, this should be incentivised. It also provides for the service of documents electronically, thereby modernising and expediting the administrative process. The Bill provides that the Book of Quantum is reviewed every three years.
Minister Humphreys concluded: “The PIAB model is a positive one as it delivers compensation faster, with lower costs and predictable outcomes. The strengthening of the PIAB model, along with the work of the Personal Injuries Commission, and the complementary work of the Cost of Insurance Working Group will lead to the delivery of benefits for both businesses and consumers.”
Notes to Editors
PIAB facilitates objective, fair and transparent assessments of damages in personal injury cases at a low delivery cost and in a timely non-adversarial manner that is a far shorter timeframe than possible through litigation which often takes several years.
Strengthening the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) legislation has been advocated through:
- a public consultation;
- recommendations from the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance (January 2017); and
- recommendations from the Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach on the Rising Costs of Motor Insurance (November 2016).
Content of the Bill
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2018 will mainly strengthen PIAB in terms of operational issues.
These main provisions include:
- clarifying the documents required from a claimant before a formal notice seeking consent to an assessment will be issued to a respondent;
- ensuring early notification of incomplete claims to respondents;
- providing the Board with discretion not to make an assessment in certain situations where the resolution of the claim is being delayed while with the Board’s process;
- ensuring consistency in the application of limitation periods within the process;
- providing PIAB with the power to obtain information from any person or body to fulfil its functions;
- changes to the composition of the Board membership and tenure of members in line with Government policy that more Board positions are filled through publicjobs.ie and the Public Appointments Service process;
- providing for different levels of fees to be levied by PIAB on claimants and respondents for the submission of electronic and paper formats of documents;
- providing that the Book of Quantum will be published every three years;
- addressing issues relating to non-cooperation, such as non-attendance at medicals and failure to provide details of special damages or loss of earnings, and
- enabling PIAB to serve documents electronically or through a document exchange mail service, thus modernising and expediting the administrative process.