Some comments from ACSO on the latest claims data trends in the UK;
The latest quarterly data from the government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), obtained following a Freedom of Information request by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO), show a continuing downwards trend, with sharp falls in the number of injury claims across all categories.
Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, said the number of motor injury claims has nearly halved (44% reduction) since 2018, with the 84,247 claims submitted during the latest quarter (October – December 2022), the lowest figure on record. Claims for clinical negligence, employer’s liability and public liability also fell in 2022, as overall the number of claims fell below half a million for a full year for the first time since CRU data was collected using the current methodology in 2010.
While 2022 data for UK mileage has yet to be published, the figures for 2021 showed 300bn passenger miles travelled, up from 265bn miles during the 2020 pandemic year. Expectation is that there will be another increase for the last 12 months, suggesting other reasons explain much of the fall in road traffic accident (RTA) claims.
Maxwell Scott said: “The reasons for the sharp drops in personal injury claims over recent years are several but include the impact of the government’s whiplash reforms, changing behaviours, improved health and safety in the workplace and falls in marketing spend in the sector.
“We’ve always disputed the tabloid obsession with there being a rampant ‘compensation culture,’ and after the latest set of data even its most vocal advocates might consider focusing their fire elsewhere.
Maxwell Scott pointed to recent research by ACSO member company National Accident Helpline which found that up to £1.4 billion in personal injury compensation remains unclaimed from 2022; 50 per cent of people who suffered a no-fault accident in the last three years have not claimed. 25 per cent said they had no idea they were entitled to compensation and 23 per cent were worried about the cost of making a claim.
He said: “While claims numbers have dropped, motor insurance premiums rose by an inflation-busting 19 per cent in 2022 alone, according to the latest estimates. There are well known issues in the motor claims supply chain that have driven up costs, but no one can possibly argue that soaring premiums are down to injury claims.”
“There are some signs that the new battleground could be so-called hybrid motor claims, those which contain whiplash as well as other injuries. Consumer representatives should be on their guard against any attempt to squeeze compensation levels further still, while insurers should be reminded that motorists are compelled to buy policies precisely in case they injure themselves or others.
“The low claims numbers are sadly not reflected in lower court waiting times. These are at record highs, adding more misery for hard-pressed consumers.”