Who would have guessed that a government scheme to help resolve low cost PI claims would actually result in under 1% of them being sorted out and settled reasonably quickly? Not us at IE, we believe every govt press release, plus we recently bought some magic beans online for half a Bitcoin. Here’s the word from ACSO:
Commenting on the release of the first three months of data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal for people making a claim following a minor injury in a road traffic accident, Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, said:
“The data shows that of nearly 46,000 claims registered on the portal so far, just 436 had settled as at September 2021. That means fewer than one per cent of injured people have made it to the end of the process, which strongly implies that widespread reports from defendant and claimant representatives of severe teething problems with the portal must be true.
“The MoJ said the portal was designed to make it easy for injured people to use, but only one in ten consumers attempted to do so without the support of a lawyer or other professional representative. This shows that the portal process is far too complicated for most members of the public to use with confidence, and without risking detriment from adverse defendant behaviour.
“On liability, just over half the submitted claims (54 per cent) have agreed liability decisions, with 11 per cent of claims having liability denied. In order to help unblock the backlog of injured people waiting for their day in court, we would like to see the number of liability denied cases reduce significantly.
“Currently there are nearly 21,000 claims awaiting a liability decision. Our concern is that insurers are incentivised to deny liability because in doing so, the case exits the portal and injured people have nowhere to turn to except the civil courts, which are suffering year-long delays getting cases heard.”
On the CRU data
“The latest quarterly data from the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) show a continuing sharp decline in the number of motor injury claims. More than 14,000 fewer claims were registered between June – September 2021, while for the year as a whole, just under 300,000 motor claims were registered, compared to 356,000 for the same period last year.
“Claims across other classes (EL, PL) are generally flat but there has been a sharp increase in clinical negligence claims, up from 8839 (Jan-Sept 2020) to 13,681 for the equivalent period this year, an increase of over 50 per cent.”
Comparing OIC and CRU
“Although the data are not wholly comparable, it is clear that many more claims are being registered with the CRU than the OIC. This may be because firms are holding onto cases because the OIC is so difficult to navigate, or for other reasons.
“It is hard to draw absolute conclusions from the first three months but our view is that, while the MOJ says the system has performed well, there is still much to do before ministers can claim that their new portal provides a better customer experience than the old system.
“We repeat our call for an OIC work group, made up of representatives from across the sector, to work alongside the MIB to resolve the many outstanding problems with the OIC in a joined-up manner. The MoJ has so far refused this, but the numbers show that more affirmative action from ministers is required; there are currently no laurels for them to rest upon.”