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The decision to remove the reforms from the Prisons and Courts Bill, and introduce them in their own piece of legislation – the Civil Liability Bill, has been well received by insurers, as it provides an opportunity to revisit the drafting, which many felt was too far removed from the proposals contained within the consultation, when initially drafted into the Prison and Courts Bill.
Whilst the detailed workings of the reforms, and the timing of its introduction are now the focus of attention, what has been clear since the reforms were first announced, is that the legal expenses insurers, and their partner solicitors must develop their service offering to ensure that customers will still receive the service that they paid for when purchasing their legal expenses insurance policy.
The reforms, and in particular the increase in the Small Claims Court limit for Road Traffic Accidents, which will be introduced outside of the Bill, but simultaneously, move the onus of liability for legal costs from the third party insurer, to the customer – or their legal expenses insurer where they have purchased cover. The new fixed tariff system also greatly reduces the level of compensation that customers can claim in the vast majority of road traffic personal injury claims.
The commercial dynamics of motor legal expenses insurance are now completely turned on their head, and provide a fantastic opportunity for legal expenses insurers to demonstrate the value of their products.
To do this however, they must engage with their solicitor partners, and develop service models that not only provide customers with the appropriate level of assistance when they need it, but in a cost efficient, and proportionate way.
At Arc Legal Assistance, we are at the forefront of this movement. In anticipation of these reforms, we have been actively engaged with our distribution and solicitor partners for some time, developing servicing models to meet the customers’ needs. These models must be flexible, and reactive to the customer group’s specific requirements, and the product preferences of the distribution partners. Greater automation of the personal injury claims process, customer proactivity in progressing their case and digital interfaces will deliver the future for these claims, ensuring that full and relevant cover continues to be provided to customers.
If you would like to discuss how Arc Legal Assistance can help with your legal expenses insurance arrangements post reform, please contact us at [email protected]