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General Insurance

Whiplash reforms

The introduction of the long-awaited whiplash reforms and ‘go-live’ of the new Official Injury Claims Portal marks a significant change in dealing with low value, soft tissue injury road traffic claims. The implementation of the rise in the small claims track to £5,000, the new whiplash tariffs and the requirement for a medical report to evidence whiplash claims completes the package of reforms that were laid out in the Civil Liability Act and represents a significant milestone for the ABI having campaigned to remove unnecessary cost from the system for over a decade. We will continue to push for reform where necessary as behaviours under the new rules become clearer and we have already sought to agree a collaborative process with claimant representatives to progress test cases on mixed or hybrid injuries, which the Civil Liability Act fails to address. We will also now begin more concerted work on the Personal Injury Discount Rate ahead of its first review following the changes introduced in July 2019.

Ending the Covid-19 pledges – returning back to ‘normality’

Following the significant implications of Covid-19 and numerous lockdowns on all of our lives, the insurance industry recognised the need to show their flexibility to their customers and manage the vast number of queries to their call centres as our normal day to day activities were put on hold. This included developing a range of pledges and Q&As to help customers manage the difficulties they may have experienced from lockdown and associated implications, including driving to work, not being able to check on their unoccupied businesses and working from home. As the UK has eased out of the strictest lockdown measures, the ABI has successfully worked closely with our members to effectively develop some pledges into permanent industry approaches, others into more appropriate customer guidance, and remove others altogether without significant backlash or concern from the public, media or the regulators.

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