DUBLIN: Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he expects insurance firms to reduce premiums soon after the Cabinet was told that the average award has fallen by around 50%. The Tánaiste presented the details of a report from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, and he expressed hope that premiums will be decreased over the next six months.
Mr. Varadkar clarified that a 50% reduction in the Personal Injury Assessment Board (PAB) compensation payments will not be matched by a 50% reduction in premiums. However, he said that there will be “a recognisable reduction” in the cost of those premiums.
According to him, insurance reform will help reduce legal costs, and more competition will also assist lower premiums. Minister Varadkar also said the government aims to make the insurance industry more competitive and consumer friendly. He was speaking in Dublin Castle after the first implementation report of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform was submitted to the Cabinet.
Law will be enforced to avoid making false claims
Leo Varadkar published the first Action Plan for Insurance Reform last December. He said 34 of the 66 action plans related to insurance reform had been implemented and that 20 more will be completed within six months. These include the establishment of a new office to promote healthy competition in the industry and the implementation of new legislation to avoid making illegal and fraudulent claims.
According to preliminary data regarding the Personal Injuries Guidelines, the average award has decreased by about 50%. 78% of the awards are worth €15,000 or less. Last year it was 30%, the report said.
New law to strengthen PIAB and CPC
Mr. Varadkar said the government plans to enact new legislation by the end of the year to strengthen the PIAB and the Consumer Protection Commission.
He said the reform aims to provide more insurance plans and reduce the cost of insurance for car owners, homeowners, businesses, the community and sporting groups.
The Competition and Consumer Commission will be given new powers. The law is also being considered for a review of the Central Bank’s report on dual pricing and a change in the liability of occupiers.
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