Proposed reforms to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) should be implemented as swiftly as possible, an Oireachtas committee has said.
The joint committee on enterprise, trade and employment has completed its pre-legislative scrutiny of the general scheme of the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill.
The bill will rename the PIAB as the Personal Injuries Resolution Board (PIRB) and will provide for greater access to mediation as a means of resolving a claim.
Maurice Quinlivan, committee cathaoirleach, said: “The committee recommends the swift passage of this bill and urge that the concentrated focus on delivering insurance reform should continue.
“It is encouraging to see that the new system of quantum of damages is bringing down the level of settlement. However, the rates of litigation are still too high, and the proposed bill should allow more to be settled by PIAB.
“Efforts must continue to achieve greater transparency in the sector, greater competition for the benefit of consumers, and greater consistency in claim handling to reduce unnecessary costs.”
The bill also seeks to extend the powers of PIAB to assess more complex injuries to include psychological injuries and to increase the number of personal injury claims that can be resolved through PIAB by including these types of claims not previously assessed by them.
Mr Quinlivan said: “The committee welcomes the intentions of the general scheme and looks forward to further engagement on the bill. I hope that when enacted it will be an important step in transforming the personal injury claims environment.”