The Alliance for Insurance Reform has given a guarded welcome to draft legislation published today by the Department of Enterprise to reform the Personal Injuries Assessment Board but highlighted risks and missed opportunities and urged the Government to continue the PIAB reform process into the future.

Key elements of the draft legislation include:

  • The extension of PIAB responsibilities to cover assessment of psychological injuries, more complex injuries and those taking longer to resolve themselves
  • The addition of mediation to the PIAB process
  • A new fraud detection role
  • Extensive new data collection responsibilities

Key elements missing from the draft legislation include:

  • The development of PIAB into a body empowered with adjudicating on claims, with no need to go to litigation except in limited circumstances
  • The establishment of an independent national claims database for use in encouraging competition and preventing fraud.

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance said “PIAB is essential as a means of processing personal injury claims quickly and cheaply to the benefit of plaintiffs and defendants alike. While we will always welcome legislation that develops and enhances the role of PIAB, the draft legislation published today only goes part of the way, come with some risks and misses out on two great opportunities.”

The extension of PIAB responsibilities to cover assessment of psychological injuries, more complex injuries and those taking longer to resolve themselves is most welcome. Likewise, the new fraud detection role and broadened data generation responsibilities.

However, the introduction of mediation must not be allowed to create additional delays or add costs to the PIAB process.“

Eoin McCambridge, Managing Director of McCambridge’s of Galway and Director of the Alliance said “It is disappointing that today’s proposed legislation does not allow PIAB to adjudicate on claims. This is a missed opportunity. PIAB has vast experience with regard to personal injuries, accumulated over 17 years of processing virtually every claim in the country. Indeed, they now process and assess way more claims than the Judiciary, as very few cases ever get into a courtroom. But far too many of the claims they process move on to needless litigation. And as has been illustrated time and time again now by the Central Bank’s NCID, the only beneficiaries of litigation in personal injury claims are solicitors and barristers, with the acquiescence of insurers. So it makes absolute sense for society that the vast majority of claims be settled at PIAB and while today’s draft legislation will bring us some of the way, it must be followed by ongoing reviews, to be allowed for in the final legislation, ultimately bringing us to a situation where PIAB can adjudicate on most claims. The Government cannot tick the box and move on – reform of PIAB must be an ongoing process.”

Peter Boland said “A claims database available to all insurers and other legitimately interested parties is essential to allow them to protect policyholders from fraudulent claims and to ensure fair competition. However, InsuranceLink, the only such database in Ireland, is owned and controlled by insurer body Insurance Ireland for the benefit of its members. The European Commission has made a preliminary finding that Insurance Ireland delayed or denied access to InsuranceLink to non-member insurers, placing them at a competitive disadvantage. We again urge Government to take the database into State control this year, ideally through PIAB. “

Tracy Sheridan, owner of Kidspace play centres in Rathfarnham and Rathcoole and director of the Alliance said “While these reforms were clearly drafted in the public interest, they will be trenchantly resisted by elements of the legal profession, determined to resist what will be seen as a threat to their revenue streams. PIAB has been subject to such resistance, through lobbying and legal challenges, since it was established in 2004; and so have the new guidelines on personal injury awards implemented last year by the Judicial Council.  Government must see that resistance for what it is and act in the interest of society as a whole.”


For further details or any queries, contact:

Peter Boland, Director, Alliance for Insurance Reform. Mobile: 086 8266 036


The Alliance brings together 47 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 55,000 members, 700,000 employees, 622,000 volunteers and 374,000 students in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums and calling for real reforms that will quickly reduce liability and motor insurance premiums to affordable levels and keep them that way. Our members include:

  • AOIFE Ireland (Association of Irish Festival Events)
  • Car Rental Council of Ireland
  • Childminding Ireland
  • Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland
  • Community Reuse Network Ireland
  • Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association
  • Cork Business Association
  • Disability Federation of Ireland
  • Early Childhood Ireland
  • Family Business Network Ireland
  • Federation of Irish Sport
  • Galway Chamber
  • Galway City Business Association
  • Galway County Public Participation Network (PPN)
  • Historic Houses of Ireland
  • Home and Community Care Ireland
  • Incoming Tour Operators Association Ireland
  • Ireland Active
  • Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism
  • Irish Caravan and Camping Council
  • Irish Charity Shops Association
  • Irish Concrete Federation
  • Irish Hotels Federation
  • Irish Road Haulage Association
  • Irish Showman’s Guild
  • Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network
  • Irish Travel Agents Association
  • ISME
  • Licensed Vintners Association
  • Motorsport Ireland
  • National Campaign for the Arts
  • National Community Care Network
  • Nursing Homes Ireland
  • Play Activity and Leisure Ireland
  • Quick Service Food Alliance
  • Restaurants Association of Ireland
  • Retail Excellence
  • Sligo PPN
  • Society of the Irish Motor Industry
  • South Dublin County PPN
  • Sport Ireland
  • Theatre Forum
  • Union of Students in Ireland
  • Vintners Federation of Ireland
  • Volunteer Ireland
  • The Wheel (Ireland’s national association for community, voluntary and charitable organisations)