Claimspace, part of handl Group, which has run the independent pilot scheme in conjunction with Verisk, has successfully processed over 100 cases through to settlement, with three participating law firms, including Slater and Gordon and two insurers. The programme started in January 2021 and is still running. Other law firms and insurers are in the process of signing up, according to Stewart McCulloch, managing director of Claimspace.
McCulloch said that users had reported average Claimspace awards being in line with MoJ stage three averages awarded at court. Comparison between Claimspace awards and insurers’ final offers are also consistent with industry standards achieved at court. On costs, McCulloch said that ADR has proven to significantly cut costs for insurers without penalising law firms, which he believed would accelerate take up in the industry.
“In an average case the at fault insurer has to pay court fees, solicitor’s costs and advocacy (barristers’) costs of around £1700. ADR removes the requirement for advocacy, which is outsourced and therefore cash neutral for law firms, of around £600.”
“It is a no-brainer for insurers and law firms alike,” he said, adding: “As well as driving down costs, Claimspace ADR clears reserves for insurers. It provides a significant cash flow advantage to the claimant law firm as cases are taking less than a week to conclude compared to around twelve months for court cases. We’ve also found that it improves the customer journey, whether fault or non-fault.”
Commenting on the pilot, Matt Jarvis, Managing Director of Personal Injury at Slater and Gordon, said: “This ADR pilot shows how the legal and insurances sectors can work together to help people get justice. We’re focused on delivering the best possible process and outcome for customers, and that means looking for new ways of resolving problems.
“ADR is a solution for cases which would otherwise have had go through a the court process. At the best of times can be time consuming, costly and frustrating for customers, but delays and disruption caused by covid has made that even worse, so this successful trial couldn’t have been more timely.”