Claims service provider handl Group has launched a new full service proposition for insurers dealing with the impact of the government’s personal injury reform. handl Engage will help insurers manage changing customer requirements in the wake of the launch of the government’s minor injury claims portal (Official Injury Claim or OIC).
Early data from the OIC portal
It reaches the market as handl Group reports an estimated 20% drop in the number of personal injury claims accessing the portal during the first half of June, amid teething problems and difficulties for claimant firms trying to access the portal on the Proclaim platform, although group chief commercial officer Chris Chatterton said that claims were beginning to ‘creep up again.’
He also said that the Group’s insurer clients are also reporting an increase in the number of mixed or hybrid injury claims submitted, and mixed evidence on liability, with some insurers accepting liability immediately, while others in no rush to accept liability, which may be because they haven’t yet got their processes functioning 100%.
Engage settles motor claims quickly
Chris said Engage is designed for insurers needing help to resolve motor claims quickly and effectively.
He said: “Although the reforms have been in the offing for over five years, the MoJ only published the guidelines and protocols for the new portal a matter of weeks before launch, giving insurers very little time to prepare.”
“The government also decided not to make the public aware of these significant changes to their rights, which will mean there will be thousands of people injured in RTAs who have no idea what to do, and will more than likely turn to their insurer for help.”
Chris explained that the pandemic and the reforms have combined to create turmoil in the motor claims market, “packing five years of change into twelve months. As a result, a small number of cross-market suppliers have emerged to offer bundled claims services with a strong emphasis on technology.”
He noted: “In 2021, consumers are more comfortable than ever before with using technology to manage their claim, and tech-enabled processing is the only way to deliver high quality customer service at ultra-low cost.”
He cited handl Group’s first call resolution system, which has ensured 85% of notified motor claims are put into the right track for settlement after one call. “The combination of expert people and our digital triage tool guides insurer customers through the new processes, including medical reports, mobility, repair and rehabilitation, and arbitration for disputed claims.”
He added: “Most importantly, first call resolution minimises the risk of CMCs and solicitors banking injury claims for several months before submitting them in the hope of winning larger awards for injury longevity.
“We always thought this was a big risk, so our system has inbuilt checks to provide insurer clients with a strong defence if claimants seek to make a claim before the three year limit.”
He said it underlined how handl Group foresaw the impact of the reforms on insurers several years ago. “Our suite of businesses working together under our handl Engage brand provides insurers a complete claims solution that reduces the risk of fraud and enables insurers to better manage their reserving.”
“Our Engage technology also helps achieve the industry’s and the government’s aim of reducing unmeritorious injury claims.”
Engage services include claims handling (Coplus), accident management (Cobalt) credit hire (Cogent Hire), rehabilitation (Corporé), medical reporting (Speed Medical) and ADR arbitration (Claimspace).
Outlook – consolidation in claims industry inevitable
Looking ahead to the impact on the claims industry, Chris said: “I am convinced the market will quickly consolidate into a small number of digitally-savvy, highly compliant, data-rich suppliers of bundled claims services, where insurers can pick from a menu of options and know they are getting high quality provision and advanced data analytics to inform their claims strategies.”
Chris said: “The effect of these reforms will be that within 18 months, small providers will go into run off, or be acquired, leaving the volume market to perhaps four or five big suppliers, including handl Group.
He added: “Following the FCA-driven changes to the pricing regime from 2022, claims will become an important driver of consumer choice because there will be little difference in premiums across different insurers.”
“There is, therefore, a window of opportunity now for insurers to beef up their claims proposition. The largely piecemeal changes in the claims sector during the last decade will become supercharged during the next 18 months, and we are keen to be insurers’ partner of choice as we journey together through the coming revolution.”
For more information visit: https://www.handlgroup.co.uk/handl-engage/