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Low value road traffic claims – the future

Low value road traffic claims were overhauled earlier this year when the government introduced a new online system for claiming whiplash compensation.

As data for the first quarter of operation of the Official Injury Claims Portal (OIC) is published, Diane Parker, head of personal injury, takes a look at how it’s performing:

“The headline figures show that 45,718 claims were submitted onto the new portal but less than 10% of those (4331) were from unrepresented claimants – the very group of people the OIC was built and designed for.

What do these early figures tell us?

Claims for injuries for road traffic injuries are down; pre Covid there were around 60,000 uploads to the old claims portal per month, so this is a significant drop. Some of this reduction might be due to value, the old claims portal was designed to cover claims worth up to £25,000 whereas the OIC is only for those worth up to £5000, although statistically, most road traffic claims were typically valued between £1000 and £5000. Some of the reduction is due to Covid, there are still significantly fewer vehicles on the road even though traffic has been steadily increasing.

Where are the claims coming from?

Insurance companies have created an industry out of “third party capture” and some of their panel firms have worked with the insurers to come up with funding models so that the solicitors running these low value cases can continue to make some profit doing so. Third party capture is okay if you are a policyholder driver or family member involved in an accident – you report the claim to your insurer and they refer you to their panel solicitor who submits the claim on your behalf.

But what of the clients who don’t fall into this model? Examples of the clients that the third-party capture system misses are:

  1. Employees driving their employer’s vehicle
  2. Drivers of rental vehicles
  3. Bus and coach passengers
  4. Taxi and private hire passengers
  5. Non-related passengers in cars driven by the prospective defendant.

Is it these classes of victim that are the 10% trying to go it alone? The published statistics don’t tell us that.

How have they even found the portal? Unless an injured individual knows to search for “official injury claim”, and let’s be honest, if you’re sitting at home in screaming agony with your whiplash, are you going to think of that as a search term, then it is impossible to even find the portal, let alone start using it.

MOJ supporting billion-pound multinationals to increase profits – tick that box;

MOJ pulling the rug out from under average Joe – tick that box; although next year’s car insurance should be £35 cheaper, so that’s alright then.”

Injured but confused about next steps?

We’ve put a leaflet together that explains when you need to use the claims portal and when you can get help from a solicitor – rta flyer 1