The whiplash claims portal is due to go live in April

Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) chief executive Dominic Clayden has admitted that it will be tough for some businesses to adjust to the new litigants in person (LiP) portal if it goes live in April as planned.

The MIB was tasked by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to build the portal as one facet of the Civil Liability Act, also known as the whiplash reforms.

Clayden told Insurance Times yesterday that the portal is ready to go from a technical point of view, but there are outstanding issues that need to be resolved by the MoJ before it can go live.

The result is a lack of certainty for businesses that would need to use the portal.

”I absolutely recognise the difficulty it’s giving people because we haven’t got the decisions, we can’t show people, and people can’t work with [the finished portal].

”We’re doing all the technical API delivery, but there is a point from a practical level where there’s a conversation over ’can a law firm train their people in time, can an insurer train their people in time’?

”It’s not a technological integration issue because they can still log on, but people have to be trained on how it works”, Clayden said.

Brexit and the election

Clayden added that Brexit and the election had got in the way of the portal’s delivery. Asked if he would have done anything differently, Clayden replied: ”I wouldn’t have had Brexit distracting everything for a year and a half.

”The general election has put us under pressure from a timing point of view. That loss of six weeks is really squeezing people.”

The enforced radio silence during the election period, known as purdah, has not helped matters. It left stakeholders in the dark for several weeks as to whether or not there had been progress made on the portal, specifically around testing and build updates.

”The timing didn’t help. If I was doing this as a standalone delivery, I’d have preferred to be talking to people. Ultimately we’re a delivery partner of the MoJ,” Clayden said. 

But the MIB confirmed that testing and development had continued during purdah, they just couldn’t talk about it.