Insurer pilots system to anticipate MoJ proposals

Allianz Insurance is piloting changes to its handling of personal injury claims in anticipation of reforms by the Ministry of Justice.

After several months of delays, the MoJ has confirmed its proposals for personal injury reform will be published at the end of this month.

It is anticipated the proposals will address issues including: extending the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000; implementing set fees for lawyers; and mass changes to after-the-event insurance premiums.

Ahead of the MoJ announcement, Allianz is piloting several changes, including fast tracking of motor and casualty claims to £25,000, and rapid liability investigations to meet the claims deadlines initially set up in the MoJ’s consultation paper last year.

The project will be run out of Allianz’s Woking claims handling centre and reviewed before a planned roll-out to other locations.

Bob Rabbitts, Allianz technical claims manager, said: “While it is very frustrating that we still don’t know how and when these reforms will finally take shape, it is important that insurers are prepared.

“Within the current system it takes too long to reach liability decisions and deliver compensation, thereby increasing the cost of the claim. We believe that the changes we are exploring place the claimant at the centre of the process, as well as reducing cycle times and frictional costs.”

Rabbitts called on brokers and policyholders to help insurers reduce personal injury costs further by improving the average time to report new losses.

He said: “It is becoming more important than ever for insurers to receive prompt notification and to instigate pro-active measures and inquiries within the first few days after the incident has occurred.

“Late notification, or a failure to provide full and complete details, can often directly lead to an increase in the final settlement cost. This equally applies to the cost of credit hire claims which continue to increase at an unacceptable rate.”