Plans to enhance and reform the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) in a bid to encourage more claimants and respondents to use it have been given the go-ahead by ministers.
The government has approved the general scheme of the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill and has now given the green light to the drafting of the bill, which will change PIAB’s name to the Personal Injuries Resolution Board (PIRB).
Robert Troy, minister of state for trade promotion, digital and company regulation, said: “Insurance reform is a continued priority for government and as minister responsible for PIAB, I am committed to delivering effective and impactful reform of the PIAB model that will reduce the cost of litigation and ultimately premiums.
“We know PIAB provides a time and cost-efficient alternative to litigating personal injury claims. The proposals approved by government this week focus on enhancing the PIAB model to not only encourage more claimants and respondents to avail of its service but crucially to have their claims resolved also, thereby reducing the need to go to court.”
Under the legislation, the new PIRB will offer mediation as a means of resolving a claim; will retain claims of a wholly psychological nature; will have additional time to assess claims where an injury is yet to settle rather than releasing to litigation; will seek proof of identity on application and disclose information to An Garda Síochána to reduce fraud; and will deepen its analysis and public information roles. The court’s discretion regarding costs in litigation will be tightened.
Mr Troy said: “In developing these proposals, I met regularly with PIAB and a range of representative bodies to assess the role of PIAB itself and address how best to enhance and reform the Agency. I also closely considered the wide range of proposals submitted to the public consultation I launched last year and the suggestions raised by stakeholders in my meetings with them.
“While there is no one simple solution to resolve the high cost of insurance in Ireland, it is my ambition that the new PIRB model will have more cases resolved through it in a timely, cost-effective way. I look forward to engaging with stakeholders as we progress to drafting and through the legislative process to ensure our reforms are robust and effective.”