The Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance at the Department of Finance, Mr Michael D’Arcy T.D., published the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report (CIWG) on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance on the 23rd January 2018 following approval by Government. Minister D’Arcy chairs the Working Group on the Cost of Insurance and officials from my Department along with other Departments and Agencies are members of the Group.
This Report makes 15 recommendations with 29 associated actions to be carried out. The recommendations and actions are detailed in an action plan contained in the Report with agreed timelines for implementation. My Department in conjunction with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board has lead responsibility for Recommendation 9 in the Report, which relates to a review of the operation of the six-month standstill period provided for under Section 50 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, with a timeline of completion by Quarter 2 of 2019.
In parallel with the implementation of this recommendation in the CIWG Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance, my Department is implementing a number of recommendations for which it has lead responsibility from the CIWG Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance that was published in January 2017.
These recommendations include the establishment of the Personal Injuries Commission, and certain amendments to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003. The Personal Injuries Commission, chaired by Justice Nicholas Kearns, was established in January 2017. The Commission published its first report on the 7th December 2017 and makes a number of recommendations on the adoption of a standardised and internationally recognised approach to the diagnosis, treatment and reporting of soft tissue injuries by practitioners who are appropriately competent and trained. Work is progressing on the second phase of the Commission’s work, which will focus on benchmarking of Irish motor insurance personal injury awards with those in other jurisdictions.
Work is also progressing on enhancing the powers of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. The Heads of a Bill were approved by Government and published on the 27th June 2017 and subsequently sent to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill 2018 is expected to be published in Spring / Summer 2018.