TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR LEGAL EXPENSES PROVIDERS; THE CIVIL LIABILITY BILL BECOMES LAW

The long-awaited Civil Liability Bill has now received Royal Assent and will be implemented into law from April 2020.

The Bill introduces a number of key changes to the personal injury process, which will have an impact on Motor Legal Expenses Insurance products. Some of the key elements of the Bill include:

  • Definition of ‘whiplash’ injury as neck, back and shoulders
  • Introduction of a tariff of compensation for ‘whiplash’ injuries, based on the duration of the injury
  • Introduction of a ban on settling or seeking/offering to settle whiplash claims without medical evidence

An increase in the Small Claims Court limit for Personal Injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 is also expected to be introduced alongside the Bill under Civil Procedure Rules.

Whilst April 2020 seems far away, Motor Legal Expenses policies sold from 1st April 2019 may result in claims that fall under the new regime. It’s important therefore that providers of Motor LEI are acting now, to ensure they are prepared for April with a fit for purpose product.

The increase in the Small Claims Court limit will change the commercial dynamics of the Motor LEI product, owing to legal costs being unrecoverable in what will now be the significant majority of cases when the increased limit comes into effect.

The reforms however also present an opportunity to provide a product that can demonstrate high levels of customer value.

We have developed a range of servicing models with our partner solicitors in preparation for the bill becoming law. These models are focused on providing a high quality service to claimants, whilst controlling costs through efficiencies. In addition, our models introduce the option for the customer to self-serve on aspects of the claim, as well as flexibility regarding the point at which an allocated case handler is assigned to the customer. We are also flexible in relation to choice of legal service provider, meaning we can work with our partner’s preferred panel law firm.

Ultimately, our approach ensures that Legal Expenses allows customers access to high quality support if they suffer an injury. The reforms have presented us with an opportunity of driving efficiencies to ensure our legal partners can operate cost effectively whilst also embracing the use of the digital servicing options available.

To learn more about our response to the Civil Liability Bill, or if you would like more information regarding our legal expenses insurance products then please contact Richard Finan on 0344 770 1072, or via email at Richard.finan@arclegal.co.uk

Call us on 0344 770 9000