Meeting set to resolve issues in DWP scheme to streamline claims process

Pilots to streamline employer's liability (EL) claims could begin as soon as the end of January if consensus is reached, industry sources said.

A meeting with stakeholders in the the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) scheme will take place this week to discuss feedback on potential sticking points.

Insurers Norwich Union, Zurich and AXA are in discussions over the pilots.

One issue under discussion is giving insurers access to firms' accident report books so that they can be aware of possible claims.

They will also discuss whether medical reports on claimants should be sent to both the claimant and the insurer at the same time.

A further issue is whether insurers should be able to make an offer to claimants without the claimants having received legal advice, either independently or through a trade union.

Zurich technical claims manager Steve Thomas called on all those involved to let the pilots move forward to the next stage.

"We have been talking about the pilots for 15 months," he said. "The general view is ‘lets get on with it'."

The DWP pilots are being set up in response to the government's review of compulsory EL insurance, with the aim of resolving claims more cost effectively, quicker and fairer.

They will target the high costs at the start of the compensation process, and aim to ensure that costs remain proportionate to the claim.

The pilots will comprise 1,000 claims of up to £10,000.

Several sites have already been identified and are ready to begin the pilot as soon as the framework has been finalised.