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Published 9 December 2021
The Official Injury Claim (OIC) service has published its second wave of data covering the period 1 September to 30 November 2021. This shows even more clearly that unrepresented claimants are successfully handling claims from start to finish; and that most claimants remain represented by solicitors.
New claims placed on the system during the period show an uptick as against the previous tranche of data and now make up 60% of the data published since the service was launched. New claims are growing month on month and we expect this trend to continue into the next set of data released.
Settlements have risen significantly in the period to 3,468 now that more cases are passing through the medical evidence stage. The figure represents 89% of all settlements to date.
The percentage of unrepresented claimants has held steady from the first release, at around 9%. The continued weighting towards represented claimants proves that predictions that claimant firms would be unable to function within the model of costs restrictions were unfounded. Solicitors are still actively competing in this market.
Other myths that the statistics dispel are that the market would be swamped with CMCs or that insurers would choose to deny claims brought by unrepresented claimants. With CMCs accounting for just 0.2% of claims currently processed through OIC and with compensators admitting liability on 94% of claims involving an unrepresented claimant, those concerns should be laid firmly to rest.
Admissions in full or in part, irrespective of representation status, were 82% for the period. This gives a clear indication that by extending the period of time for providing a liability response, the reforms have enabled compensators to identify those claims suitable for early resolution, admit liability and then progress them within OIC.
As OIC publishes more data over time, more dependable analysis will be possible; however, using the current data as a direct barometer for any impact of the reforms upon claims volumes remains unreliable. Continued activity within the RTA Portal, whether pursuant to the rules or by mistake, should be considered alongside factors such as changes to the norm in terms of road use. Anecdotally, changed patterns of work and travel have continued to dilute the traditional ‘rush hour’ effect on accident frequency, even when road use is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The other clear message is that those unrepresented claimants who do use the system are able to progress rapidly to settlement, often more rapidly than those who are represented. Again, caution is needed in assuming early indications equate to firm trends, but 52.3% of settlements to date have involved unrepresented claimants. Although the progress by month charts show that represented claimants are slowly catching up, the 9% of claimants who have tried out the service have clearly found it easy enough to navigate from start to finish. That’s a real success story for OIC.
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