’It is still very early days for the OIC portal after a rushed launch,’ says executive director 

The “rushed launch” of the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal has taught the industry that “reforms of this complexity” need to be implemented “only when processes have been properly stress-tested,” according to executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) Matthew Maxwell Scott.

Yesterday (31 May 2023) marked the two-year anniversary of the government’s OIC portal coming online as part of new whiplash reforms designed to reduce premiums for all motorists by around £35 a year.

It came following a government effort to mitigate the large quantity of fraudulent minor injury claims being made following car accidents.

Scott said that many of the OIC’s “teething troubles” had been resolved, but felt issues remained, claiming that difficulties in valuing mixed-injury claims were no nearer to a ”proper resolution” as an example.

“It is still very early days for the OIC portal after a rushed launch,” he said.

“One thing we have learned is that reforms of this complexity need in future to be implemented only when processes have been properly stress-tested.”


Scott’s comments came after the UK Parliament’s Justice Select Committee called for evidence on the impact of the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) whiplash reforms and the OIC.

The committee, which exists to examine the policies and spending of the MoJ, invited evidence on a wide range of impacts, including the number of minor personal injury claims seen since its implementation and whether reforms had reduced the cost of whiplash claims for the economy.

Scott said the inquiry was ”an excellent opportunity for the ministers and insurance industry leaders who championed the changes to face proper scrutiny and disprove lingering doubts about the impartiality of the original decision-making process”.

Consumer awareness 

Meanwhile, Scott warned that consumer awareness of the OIC remained “very limited”.

“[This was] evidenced by both low claims numbers compared with road-traffic data – which show that 2022 saw volumes at 97 per cent of pre-Covid levels – and only a tiny minority choosing to use the service as litigants-in-person,” he said.

”Ministers may well see this as a success, but if all it means is that genuinely injured people aren’t receiving the compensation they are due, then they might want to temper their celebrations.”

Scott added that next year would be a chance to see if the FCA believed the £35 per policy savings had been delivered.

However, he highlighted that with insurance costs rising, this ”will seem like small beer to hard-pressed motorists”.

“Looking ahead, we continue to want all parts of this sector to work together to ensure better consumer outcomes,” Scott said.

”The whiplash tariff should to be reviewed to take into account inflation, the mixed-injuries conundrum needs to be resolved and efforts must be made to raise awareness of a service which is now the only route to redress for those who suffer minor injuries on our roads.”