The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) is Ireland’s independent state body which assesses personal injury compensation for those that have been injured in motor accidents, workplace accidents and public liability accidents. It was established so people could avoid the costly courts system where possible. It has assessed more than 100,000 cases since it was set up in 2004.
It has been criticised, however, for being too lenient, encouraging a claims culture and hence, driving up the cost of insurance premiums.
We welcome new Government plans that aim to ensure that genuine cases are fully compensated for their injuries and that false claimants can be identified.
Firstly, a plan for a national database of insurance claims has just received Cabinet approval. The database aims to give more transparency in relation to premium rises for customers and was one of the key recommendations from the Government’s Cost of Insurance working group.
Secondly, those making claims through the PIAB process will have no choice but to attend for a medical under new laws currently being drafted.
Under the current model, independent medical assessments are carried out following a claim. If both parties accept the assessment, expensive legal proceedings can be avoided. However, if the claimant decides not to undergo this medical assessment, the PIAB cannot make an informed decision. This often results in the claimant rejecting the Board’s compensation offer and taking their claim to the courts in the hope of getting a higher payout.
The whole point of insurance is to ease the financial burden when something goes wrong and we hope that these measures will be a good start towards creating a landscape for that to happen more fairly.