Following an FOI request from ACSO (The Association of Consumer Support Organisations), the accident claims statistics for January to March 2021 have been released by the government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU). Commenting on the release of the latest data, Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, said:
“Motor accident claims have fallen year-on-year again, from just under 157,000 (Jan-March 2020) to just over 107,000 during the first quarter this year, a fall of 31%.
“The fall this year continues a long-term downwards trend in motor claims. This started well before the pandemic, which has accelerated the decline. It will be interesting to see whether the launch of the new online small claims portal at the end of May will lead to a further fall in registered claims, as was the government’s expectation.”
“Meanwhile motor insurance premiums have fallen by 14% in the last 12 months, the biggest annual fall since 2014. This is good news but is undoubtedly due to the impact of the pandemic on claims frequency. The promised £35 of savings per premium expected as a result of the whiplash reforms needs to come on top of this if consumer confidence in the insurance industry is not to take another knock.”
Maxwell Scott added: “In reality, Covid has finished the government’s job for it. Motor claims dropped by nearly 25% between 2019 and 2020 and we see no reason why overall claims will not continue to decline as driving continues to change and evolve in future.”
Q1 2021 claims for employers’ liability (EL) and public liability (PL) also fell on a like-for-like basis since Q4 2020, although there has been a significant increase in clinical negligence claims, up from just over 3,800 (Oct – Dec 2020) to just over 5,900 (Jan – Mar 2021), a rise of 55% in three months.
Mr Maxwell Scott said: “This is a significant jump, reversing a long-term declining trend which has also seen a falling off of legal costs. It could reflect overstretch in the NHS following the extraordinary efforts to manage the impact of Covid-19 over the last 12 months.”