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22 June 2022

Latest Central Bank Report

Major savings in PIAB

News release

 

  • 16 times cheaper to use PIAB for injury claims, new Central Bank research shows

  • Litigation also takes two-and-a-half years longer than PIAB service

Wednesday, 22 June 2022 – The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) has welcomed the publication of the second Central Bank of Ireland report on Employers Liability, Public Liability and Commercial Property insurance – the areas of insurance that affect businesses and sports and community groups.  The  figures in the report clearly show the potential savings in costs and time through using the PIAB system.

The Central Bank’s National Claims Information Database report covering 2020, shows that for these types of insurance, where claims go to litigation, the add-on legal costs are 16 times greater than those involved in the PIAB process, and litigation also takes about two-and-a half-years longer.

These extra costs and time delays in litigation affect both the parties involved and society as a whole, and could be very sharply reduced by using the PIAB service. 

The report comes after two major court judgements have strongly underpinned the application of the Personal Injuries Guidelines which are applied by both PIAB and the Courts.  Following those cases,  it is anticipated that greater numbers of claims will be resolved by PIAB.

The report by the Central Bank of Ireland today covers personal injuries claims relating to injuries in public places and workplaces.  These claims are the ones which most directly affect businesses in sectors such as leisure, hospitality and childcare, as well as community and sporting organisations.

PIAB Chief Executive, Rosalind Carroll, commented: “This second report covering employer and public liability insurance provides evidence that confirms previous research showing the benefits to all parties and to society as a whole of our fair and independent service.  The report is very clear – PIAB resolves claims with a tiny fraction of the costs of litigation, while delivering similar awards for claimants, much faster. The figures are in line with Central Bank research showing savings in the motor liability area, so there is now strong evidence over a number of years for the savings which are possible in the PIAB process.”

Ms Carroll added:  “We are now in a different environment due to a very sharp fall in numbers of claims since 2020, and the very significant reductions in average awards as a result of the implementation of the Personal Injury Guidelines, which has seen average awards decrease by 42%. 

“We expect that the proportion of claims being resolved by PIAB will grow significantly as a result of the Guidelines and the recent Court judgements on their application by PIAB.”

The report predates the major reductions in average personal injuries awards which took place following the implementation of the Personal Injuries Guidelines in April 2021.  PIAB’s published statistics show that average awards reduced by 42 per cent in the year of 2021.  PIAB’s  figures will be reflected in future Central Bank reports, and PIAB believes it is vital that data is made available in a timely way on all of the claims channels.

65 per cent of claims cases involve litigation, the Central Bank’s report published today shows, but only 3 per cent actually reach court.  

Legal costs in 2020 were far higher in litigation than PIAB’s fair and independent service as shown here from the Central Bank report  figures:

  • €20,300 costs per case in litigation

 

  • €1,270 costs per case through PIAB

The cost of litigation drives up injury claims costs, which have been cited as a factor in the level of insurance costs charged to businesses, community organisations and sports bodies for cover.  The time delays in litigation are also much more stressful for all parties.

The time savings through PIAB are clear in the report from the 2020 figures:

  • Total resolution time in litigation:  4.6  years.

 

  • Total resolution time in PIAB: 2.2 years

The PIAB Chief Executive added:  “Small businesses, especially those involved in childcare, leisure or hospitality along with community and sports organisations, are facing major problems with the price and availability of insurance cover. This is a key issue as the economy continues to open up. With consumers and business facing the costs of inflation, this report shows major potential for savings in claims costs and therefore insurance costs.”

“This data should be considered by both claimants and respondent/insurers to make informed decisions, and to opt for the PIAB service which ensures fair awards and far lower costs.”

The link to the report and the statistical Annex containing above figures on the Central Bank website is here -  https://www.centralbank.ie/statistics/data-and-analysis/national-claims-information-database/ncid-employers-public-liability-insurance