This shows a 38% drop in the level of motor injury claims compared to July to September last year

Official government body the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) has recorded 105,000 motor injury claims in quarter three this year, demonstrating an 10,000-case increase compared to the 95,000 motor injury claims registered between April and June 2020.

However, the data – collected via a Freedom of Information request made by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) – showed that motor injury claims are still reduced compared to the same period last year.

Year-on-year, there has been a 38% drop as the CRU registered 169,000 motor injury claims between July and September 2019.

Commenting on the statistics, ACSO executive director Matthew Maxwell Scott said: “Motor claims have risen slightly since the end of the previous quarter, but are still well down on last year, showing the impact of Covid on claims incidences has been sustained well beyond the full lockdown between March and May.

“The reduction in compensation for injury and vehicle repair costs is good news for insurers and we hope this will be reflected in reduced premiums for Britain’s motorists in the year ahead.”

Aside from motor injury claims, Maxwell Scott further said that claims incidences for employers’ liability (EL), public liability (PL) and clinical negligence (CN) have remained flat versus the previous quarter, but is still a decrease compared to the same period last year.

Maxwell Scott predicts this could be “the start of a very different claims environment for the UK”.

He said: “There has been very little increase in EL and PL claims since the lockdown, which may be because many people are still working from home.

“It is early days but this could be the start of a very different claims environment for the UK, which is seeing a long-term contraction in injury claims from a peak of 1,048,000 annual claims in 2012/13 to 829,000 claims in 2019/20, a 21% reduction.”

However David Scott, partner and head of leisure and hospitality at insurance law firm Keoghs, believes the hospitality and leisure sector should expect a “surge” in employers’ liability claims as staff grapple with the realities of returning to work after the industry reopened in July following enforced closures resulting from the Covid-19 national lockdown.

Reform delays

Speaking on the government’s delayed whiplash reform programme, which is now scheduled to be implemented in April 2021, Maxwell Scott added: “It’s reasonable to ask whether it is the right time to be delivering radical change when the claims market and general environment is so volatile and the new small claims portal still faces many operational challenges.

“As we’ve previously stated, we broadly support the concept of the portal in improving efficiencies and streamlining the claims process, as long as we have the right consumer safeguards in place.

“But, the new minster will have some rapid decisions to make when they arrive at their desk because there are still no rules and many fundamental safeguards remain unresolved. Moreover, the current backlog of cases in the civil justice system will only increase with an upsurge in litigants in person through the new regime.”