Motor injury claims registered with the official government body (the Compensation Recovery Unit or CRU) for July-September this year have very slightly increased on the previous quarter, but are still well below the numbers recorded for the same time last year.
Following a Freedom of Information request, the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), which represents consumers and those companies who help consumers with civil claims, said nearly 105,000 motor injury claims were registered in Q3 2020, a slight increase of 10,000 on the 95,000 claims registered between April-June 2020.
Motor claims in the equivalent period last year (July-Sept 2019) were 169,000 meaning there has been year on year fall of nearly 38%.
ACSO executive director Matthew Maxwell Scott said:
“Motor claims have risen slightly since the end of the previous quarter, but are still well down on last year, showing the impact of Covid on claims incidence has been sustained well beyond the full lockdown between March and May.
“The reduction in compensation for injury and vehicle repair costs is good news for insurers and we hope this will be reflected in reduced premiums for Britain’s motorists in the year ahead.”
Mr Maxwell Scott noted that claims incidence for Employer Liability (EL), Public Liability (PL) and Clinical Negligence (CN) was broadly flat on the previous quarter, but well down compared to the same period last year. “There has been very little increase in EL and PL claims since the lockdown, which may be because many people are still working from home.”
It is early days but this could be the start of a very different claims environment for the UK, which is seeing a long-term contraction in injury claims from a peak of 1,048,000 annual claims in 2012/13 to 829,000 claims in 2019/20, a 21% reduction.”
Commenting on the government’s delayed whiplash reform programme, which is now due to come into effect in April 2021, Mr Maxwell Scott said: “It’s reasonable to ask whether it is the right time to be delivering radical change when the claims market and general environment is so volatile and the new small claims portal still faces many operational challenges.”
“As we’ve previously stated, we broadly support the concept of the portal in improving efficiencies and streamlining the claims process, as long as we have the right consumer safeguards in place.”
“But the new minster will have some rapid decisions to make when they arrive at their desk, because there are still no rules and many fundamental safeguards remain unresolved. Moreover, the current backlog of cases in the civil justice system will only increase with an upsurge in litigants in person through the new regime.”