Chris Birkett, chief executive of accident management firm Winn Group, discusses the impact of the Civil Liability Act on the sector and looks at how to succeed in a challenging market

The Civil Liability Act has had a wide‑reaching impact on the accident management industry and the relationships between the parties involved post-accident.

The threshold for claims that legal firms can deal with has been raised and the Official Injury Claims portal has been brought in for claims that fall below the £5,000 limit. As we head towards the first anniversary of the reform’s introduction, it has – as predicted – altered the claims process landscape significantly.

The volume of claims being generated has changed, as has the access to managing those claims, leading to a consolidation in the market and a genuine battle of the strongest to survive and thrive. It has been a ruthless case of adapt or falter.

Chris Birkett

Chris Birkett

From a Winn Group perspective, it has been essential to invest heavily in our infrastructure, making the firm adaptable and agile when it comes to technology.

We offer clients a truly 24/7 service, different methods through which to correspond with us and a telematics package that is an important asset in the insurance sector today.

Never has it been more important to provide a service that explicitly suits the requirements of clients and insurance providers alike. That means first-class client engagement, streamlining processes to maximise efficiencies and the effectiveness of teams working on cases and offering that service around the clock to fit in with a client’s lifestyle.

The service element is now closely scrutinised and highly valued, so every company in the industry is searching for those extra improvements to enhance the claims journey.

You have to be flexible, you have to be adaptable, you have to make decisions quickly and you have to deliver those decisions quickly.

Winn Group has enjoyed exponential growth recently, but it has achieved that only after years of process improvements and enhancements that are bearing fruit. If companies haven’t taken that long‑term view, they will be sharply feeling the consequences of it now.

As firms feel their way through the post-reform landscape, there is very little margin for error in an ultra‑competitive market. There may be fewer competitors seeking additional work from a smaller pool, but the proof is in the pudding – and that is why Winn Group has navigated its way through turbulent times so successfully.

Getting the service right and delivering for clients and providers is, and should always be, the highest priority. Those that do are seeing the results. Those that don’t are feeling the heat.

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