I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 39 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the second phase of the Cost of Insurance Working Group project culminated in the publication on 25th January of the Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance, following its approval by Government. This Report makes 15 recommendations with 29 associated actions to be carried out, detailed in an Action Plan contained in the Report with agreed timelines for implementation.
There is a commitment within the Report that the Working Group will prepare quarterly updates on its progress. Such quarterly reports, which originally focused exclusively on the implementation of the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance, now include updates in respect of the actions from the Report on Employer and Public Liability Insurance also.
The seventh such quarterly report was published on 12th November and shows that 18 of the 19 actions points arising up to end of Q3 2018 have been completed.
The two primary Reports and all of the quarterly updates are available on the Department’s website, within “The Cost of Insurance Working Group” sub-section of the main “Insurance” section.
The 18 actions implemented to date cut across a number of different areas and include:
- The publication of by An Garda Síochána of the “Guidelines for the Reporting of Suspected Fraudulent Insurance Claims by Insurance Entities to An Garda Síochána” on 1st October
- The Law Reform Commission confirming that the subject of caps on damages for personal injuries litigation is included in its draft Fifth Programme of Law Reform, which is to be finalised before the end of the year
- Draft heads being prepared to ensure defendants are appropriately notified of a claim having been submitted against their policy
- An Garda Síochána commencing the collection of statistics under the new “insurance fraud” category which has been added to the PULSE system
- The Courts Service confirming that they will publish a more detailed breakdown of awards in personal injury cases in their Annual Reports
The one Action Point that has been delayed thus far relates to Recommendation 7 under which the Court Rules Committees are considering amendment of the Rules of Court to take account of section 8 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 (this section deals with notification of claims to defendants). The Department of Justice and Equality expects to be able to submit a report on this matter to the Working Group before the end of the year.
Finally, it should be noted that all 29 actions are scheduled to be implemented before the end of 2019, with 26 due for completion this year. In regard to the remaining actions, 7 are due by the end of this year and 3 are due in 2019. It is hoped that all remaining actions will be achieved by their deadlines in the Report.