In the News
UK Motor Insurers’ Bureau Launches Whiplash Portal
New program touted as a milestone in changing the way whiplash injury claims are filed and paid.
- Frank Klimko
- March 2020
The United Kingdom's Motor Insurers' Bureau has opened the registration window for organizations that intend to participate in the new whiplash reform program, which will change the way whiplash injuries are reported and compensated.
Claimant representatives and compensator organizations can register for the Official Injury Claim program in advance of its launch in April, according to a statement from the MIB.
The “launch is a significant milestone for the successful delivery of the new service to support the whiplash reforms.”
Motor Insurers’ Bureau
The new claims process was authorized by the Civil Liability Act of 2018 in an attempt to reduce the costs of whiplash injuries. The law applies in England and Wales.
The “launch is a significant milestone for the successful delivery of the new service to support the whiplash reforms,” Dominic Clayden, MIB chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, said under the new system claimants will be able to make a whiplash claim directly with insurers through an online portal; tariffs are imposed for some whiplash injuries from road traffic accidents; the small claims limit increases from £1,000 (US$1,311) to £5,000 for road traffic accidents not including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders and the limit increases from £1,000 to £2,000 for other claims.
Also, how the personal injury discount rate is set changes, with regular rate reviews and an expert panel advising the lord chancellor.
The rate is now determined with reference to expected returns on a low-risk diversified portfolio of investments rather than very low-risk investments and is to be reviewed every five years, according to the Best's Market Segment Report, UK Non-Life Insurers Face Strong Competition and Claims Inflation.
Last year, the outcome of the first review under the act was announced and the rate was revised from negative 0.75% to negative 0.25%, the report said.
“The change fell short of market expectations, as many participants had anticipated an increase into the 0% to 1% range, and a number of insurers announced a consequent strengthening of their motor and liability reserves,” AM Best said.
Overall, the measures are expected to be a positive for insurers, the report said. “However, in such a competitive market, any savings are likely to be passed onto insureds in the form of premium reductions,” it said.
The Law Society has criticized the measure, arguing increasing the small claims limits would drive unrepresented claimants to the courts where they will struggle to access justice.