Written Answers. - Insurance Industry.

Brendan Smith

Question:

65 Mr. B. Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the proposals she has to reduce substantially the medical and legal costs associated with insurance claims and settlements; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19487/03]

On 27 May 2003 the Government approved the priority drafting and publication of the general scheme of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Bill. It is intended to introduce the published Bill into the Houses of the Oireachtas in the autumn and enacted by year end, allowing the Personal Injuries Assessment Board to be up and running and hearing cases early in 2004.

It is generally accepted that the medical and legal costs associated with the settlement of insurance claims are disproportionately high in Ireland. The main objective of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board is to reduce the cost of delivery of compensation. It is not designed to reduce the level of awards. It will initially deal with employer liability cases where liability issues do not arise. It will subsequently be extended to public liability cases and claims involving motor accidents.

Brendan Smith

Question:

66 Mr. B. Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress to date in implementing the recommendations of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19488/03]

The ministerial committee established to oversee implementation of insurance reform, which I chair, also includes the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Minister for Transport and the chairperson of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board.

The ministerial committee meets on a monthly basis. The meetings are attended by the Ministers as stated above and senior officials from the respective Departments. Progress is being made on the implementation of the majority of the MIAB recommendations, and to date, 15 have been implemented.