In October 2015 the then Chancellor George Osbourne announced an intention to "ban whiplash claims" due to perceived consumer harm from their impact on motor insurance premiums. The aim was to de-incentivise whiplash claims, deter fraud, and reduce motor insurance premiums.
These reforms come into force on 31 May 2021 and apply to low value Road Traffic Act (RTA) whiplash claims occurring on or after 31 May 2021.
What the changes are:
Qualifying claims will be pursued via a new online portal - the Official Injury Claims portal (OIC). Claimants will access and manage their claim through the OIC and insurers will have 30 days to make a liability decision.
There is no 'ban' on RTA whiplash claims but the reforms do ban offers on qualifying whiplash claims without medical evidence. The introduction of tariff damages (for injuries up to 24 months duration) will reduce compensation and the cost of these claims.
There will be two tariffs - one for whiplash only, and a second for whiplash plus "minor psychological injury" (yet to be defined).
A "whiplash injury" has been formally defined. We've assessed the applicable scope of the change to be approximately 80% of current RTA injury claims.
The Small Claims Track limit for RTA injury claims will increase from £1,000 to £5,000 (subject to certain exemptions), meaning legal costs are no longer payable on claims up to the value of £5,000, and therefore ought to be less attractive to fraudsters, claimant solicitors and claims management companies.
The Small Claims Track limit for Employers' and Public Liability injury claims (currently £1,000) will not change at this time, but Government has indicated it will increase to £1,500 from April 2022.
What we need from you:
In essence the introduction of OIC does not change the fundamental claims reporting requirements, so please continue to
This will enable us to continue managing claims effectively and efficiently, hitting the deadlines required by OIC.
In the event of a liability dispute, we will need to create a more formal statement detailing the driver's version of events within the 30-day liability period, and this will need to be signed by the driver.
It is our aim to use all the evidence that the customer/driver provides us with and with the client's further engagement prepare the formalised driver's 'version of events'. We will adopt the template style provided within the Small Claim Track Pre-Action Protocol and will, as much as possible, re-use information taken from a written accident report form where one is provided.
To set out the most persuasive argument in defence of any claim, on the client's behalf, it is likely that we'll need to contact the driver after the initial notification to gather further compelling evidence from them to support the case.
If you have any questions, please contact ManningUK 01491 578759
Tel: 01491 578759 MANNINGUK is the trading name of A Manning UK Limited. Registered Office Address: 73A Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. RG9 1AX. Registered Number 1807814. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. To verify see www.fca.org.uk under FCA reference number: 302687.
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