Dáil Éireann - Volume 469 - 03 October, 1996
Written Answers. - Insurance Costs.
Mr. Briscoe Mr. Briscoe
 58. Mr. Briscoe asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment if his Department has abandoned the introduction of proposals contained in its draft of an Insurance Cost Reduction Bill which would have placed limits on awards of compensation for pain and suffering arising out of accident claims; the measures, if any, he will undertake to tackle the increasing cost of insurance for motorists and businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17599/96]
Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton) Richard Bruton
Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): On taking up his responsibilities for the insurance sector, my colleague, Deputy Rabbitte, Minister of State with responsibility for commerce, science and technology, was presented with proposals for legislation to provide for the capping of general damages awards in personal injury compensation cases subject to an overall maximum level of judicial award.
These proposals were based on the premise that the high level of general damages awards by the High Court was a major contributory factor in high settlement costs of claims resulting in a heavy premium cost burden on the Irish traded sector. However, there was insufficient empirical analysis to support this premise and the Minister of State commissioned consultants to undertake an economic evaluation of insurance costs in Ireland, including the factors contributing to those costs and their impact on the international competitiveness of the traded sector. The consultants were required to make recommendations based on the results of their analysis and evaluation.
The report has been submitted to Government prior to its publication. It is intended that the report's findings and recommendations will provide the basis for developing a programme of measures aimed at addressing the key factors which contribute to high insurance costs in Ireland.
Dáil Éireann 469 Written Answers. Insurance Costs.