My Department is very aware of the serious impacts on businesses and consumers of high insurance costs. It is important that consumers and businesses can obtain insurance cover at a reasonable and fair price. The cost of insurance working group, chaired by my colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy D’Arcy, has undertaken a review of the factors influencing the increased cost of insurance. Its objective is to identify immediate and long-term measures which can address increasing costs, while bearing in mind the need to maintain a stable insurance sector. The first phase of this work involved an examination of the motor insurance sector. The second phase involved an examination of the employer liability insurance and public liability insurance sectors.
The work of the cost of insurance working group is complemented by the work of the Personal Injuries Commission, PIC. My Department submitted the second and final report of the PIC to Government on 18 September 2018. The publication of that report concluded the challenging work programme of the commission since its establishment in January 2017, on foot of a recommendation in the working group's motor insurance report. The PIC has made a total of 14 recommendations in its two reports. Those are aimed at impacting positively on the insurance claims environment.
One of the key recommendations in the PIC's second and final report is that the judicial council, when established under the Judicial Council Bill 2017, be requested by the Minister for Justice and Equality to compile judicial guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury. Following publication of its final report, my Department wrote to relevant Government colleagues, including the Ministers for Justice and Equality and Health and other organisations including the Garda Commissioner, Insurance Ireland and the Law Society.