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Call for cuts in insurance premiums after fall-off in personal injuries payouts


Minister of State Robert Troy

Minister of State Robert Troy

Minister of State Robert Troy

There has been a significant drop in the number of personal injuries awards made in the past two years by the body that adjudicates on claims without involving the courts.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) said there had been a €118m reduction in the value of pay-outs in that period.

PIAB said the use of its processes in resolving claims, and the avoidance of court hearings, generated savings of more than €50m last year.

It said the reductions in both the volumes and award values should have a direct impact on insurance costs
in Ireland.

The board added that this should deliver cheaper premiums for all consumers and businesses.

The introduction of the personal injuries guidelines in April last year has been partly responsible for the lower value of PIAB payouts.

However, the chief executive of Aviva Ireland, Declan O’Rourke, told Newstalk radio that judges are starting to row back on undertakings to cap payouts for personal injuries in cases where PIAB settlement offers are rejected and the cases end up in court.

PIAB said it dealt with 21,410 new personal injuries claims last year.

It awarded total compen- sation of more than €157m to accident victims last year.

The board claimed the “impact of PIAB services as an impartial, independent body to resolve claims and act as an alternative to litigation resulted in more than €50m in legal and other costs being avoided in 2021”.

The 2021 annual report covers the four-month period before the personal injuries guidelines came in, and the first eight-month period after their introduction.

The average PIAB award after April 2021, when the lower guidelines came in to force, was €13,825.

This is down from an average award in 2020
of €23,877.

Minister of State Robert Troy said he would shortly publish the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022, which will reform and strengthen the board and enable it to resolve more personal injury claims.

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