Civil Liability Act

The Civil Liability Act includes a principle of 100% compensation, which aims to ensure that those who are genuinely injured are compensated fairly. The Act also sets in motion the means to reduce the cost of fraudulent claims through a number of measures, one of which is a new portal for small claims. However, secondary legislation for this is still to be implemented and is critical to cost savings being passed on to consumers.

The Personal Injury Discount Rate was reviewed in 2019, but BIBA believes the rate is still not reflective of real life, suggesting that a cash investment would have negative growth of -0.25% and in Scotland the situation is worse with a rate of -0.75%. This is leading to much higher compensation awards and an ever present under-insurance risk.

CALLS FOR ACTION

  • For Parliament to pass the secondary legislation allowing for small claims up to £5,000 to be processed through the new portal.
  • To consider reviewing the discount rate in Scotland before the next formal review.
  • For Government to introduce the new tariff-based compensation system for whiplash.

“We look forward to working with the new Government to ensure the Civil Liability Act reforms are implemented in full, given the important cost benefit that they will bring to premium paying motorists.” 

HUW EVANS

Director General, ABI

Stopping illegal nuisance calls

Research by Aviva found that consumers were targeted with 996 million nuisance calls and texts in a year relating specifically to an injury-related claim (such as whiplash, holiday sickness, etc), pensions, PPI or other financial service-related claims. This translates to 2,728,767 calls and texts per day, or 1,895 every minute. These calls account for nearly one in four (23.2%) of all cold calls in the UK and 97% of them are illegal.

It is possible that many leads incorporating personal details are obtained without consent. This issue could be resolved if solicitors were required to declare how an injury client was signed up and from where they were referred. This simple action would improve standards and help to clean up the bad behaviour often associated with the acquisition of claims leads, and ultimately, result in a sharp drop in the number of nuisance calls. This requirement could be included and recorded in the Ministry of Justice Road Traffic Accident Portal with monitoring and compliance overseen by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) working in conjunction with the FCA which regulates claims management companies.

CALLS FOR ACTION

For regulatory enforcement to be implemented to prevent the use of leads obtained without consent with compliance supervised by the SRA and the FCA.

“Transparency and trust need to be at heart of the insurance industry and particularly at the point of claim. Any party that manipulates the system and drives unnecessary cost in the process does so at the expense of the British consumer. We are grateful for BIBA’s support of our proposal of one simple action – that solicitors declare the introducer of their claims lead – which would prevent them from either knowingly or unknowingly using leads which have been obtained without consent.  This would improve confidence in the claims process and help restore some much-needed credibility to the injury claims arena.” 

COLM HOLMES  

Chief Executive Officer of General Insurance, Aviva

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