The insurtech has warned that free text data entry in the new Official Injury Claim portal could lead to insurers being overwhelmed by data 

Insurtech 360Globalnet has today warned UK motor insurers of the need to combat any unforeseen consequences arising from part one of the whiplash reforms and the potential data ‘quicksand’ within the new Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal.

The OIC portal, which is due to be launched in May 2021, aims to reduce whiplash claims costs and fraud, but more than 60% of the fields in the new form for claimants to register their claims contain free text entry. This means the user can type almost anything, without restrictions.

360Globalnet carried out analysis which indicated that around 75% of claims previously registered in the Ministry of Justice claims portal will now fall within OIC portal’s jurisdiction. This will amount to millions of fields with unstructured data formats being submitted each year, which could leave insurers swamped by data “quicksand”.

Paul Stanley, chief executive of 360Globalnet, said: “The OIC portal started with great intentions but the devil is in the detail. We can now see significant new challenges hitting insurers in a matter of months that could be exploited more quickly than they can react.

“Our aim is to work with insurers to prevent data issues becoming the hole into which claims costs are needlessly poured. The ability to access and analyse unstructured data in real time will be critical.”

Creating structure

The insurtech believes that insurers could find themselves at the mercy of claimant representatives looking to repeat the LASPO effect of 2010 by using damages-based agreements to ‘guide’ customers away from the self-serve ideal of the portal.

For some insurers, the LAPSO Act (Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders) represented a significant step towards what they perceived as a fairer system, where claimants could no longer pursue compensation at no personal financial risk to themselves.

360Globalnet plans to provide insurers with access to 100% of its data for interrogation, fraud detection, profiling and analysis, to support claims profiling, fraud prevention and cost control.

The insurtech’s unstructured data analysis software, called 360Retrieve, is a web-based data management and business intelligence solution.

It can take “locked up” text-based information and transform it into analysable data for anti-fraud results, injury and legal claims profiling, advanced management information and GDPR compliance.

It is used by insurers for full analysis of claims exposure, even when key data is presented in unstructured and semi structured formats.