COVID-19: What is the Impact of the Lockdown on Claims Volumes

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COVID-19: What is the Impact of the Lockdown on Claims Volumes

Published 30 abril 2020

From 17 March, the Government’s instruction to leave home only as little as possible and the subsequent closure of many businesses should be expected to have a significant impact on the number of personal injury claims presented.  The management information published by the Portal Company from March 2020 supports those expectations, albeit the impact of lockdown may become more clear over the months to come, depending on its duration and the government’s strategy around easing it.

There has been a downward trend in the volume of Claim Notification Forms presented over the last two years, but March 2020 saw a significant fall in the number of Claim Notification Forms presented when compared with February 2020 (despite there being 2 more working days in March).

  % change from Feb 20 % change from March 19
EL Disease -9% -27%
PL -10% -16%
EL -9% -17%
Motor -14% -16%

Through the lockdown period, a significant proportion of the population has been furloughed or working from home and vehicle travel has been reduced significantly. 

Through the reduction in vehicle miles, it is reasonable for us to expect a significant reduction in the number of vehicle accidents and therefore a significant reduction in the volume of motor claims.

The reduction in the number of pedestrian journeys and closure of many businesses is expected to have a significant impact on the number of public liability and employers’ liability accidents, although the deployment of employees into unfamiliar roles and workplaces in combination with restrictions on planned preventative maintenance through the lockdown period may give rise to accidents which could have been avoided in other circumstances.

The number of claims presented will have been affected by the ability of solicitors and other representatives to receive instructions and present claims; many firms continue to work from paper files and face problems in their handlers accessing their files and submitting new claims.  The problems faced by Claimants’ representatives in the short term should be expected, on the easing of the lockdown, to see a number of claims presented  which would otherwise have been brought sooner, and the delay in the implementation of Whiplash Reform to April 2021 may see a spike in the number of motor claims presented over the coming months.

Whilst the impact of Covid-19 on claims volumes will not become clear for some months to come, the reduced number of claims presented in March 2020 may be followed by further reduced volumes over the coming months.

For more information or advice, please contact one of our experts in our motor or casualty team.

Authors

Peter Allchorne

Peter Allchorne

Bristol

+44 (0) 117 918 2275

David Williams

David Williams

Leeds

+44 (0)113 251 4844

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