ACSO: motor injury claims rise but still well below last year

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Motor injury claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) for July to September 2020 are up slightly on the previous quarter, but are still well below the numbers recorded for the same time last year, according to figures obtained by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO).

An ACSO Freedom of Information request to the government body revealed that nearly 105,000 motor injury claims were registered in Q3 2020, a slight increase of 10,000 on the 95,000 claims registered between April and June 2020. 

Motor claims in the equivalent period last year (July to Sept 2019) reached 169,000, meaning there has been a year-on-year fall of nearly 38%.

Commenting on the figures, Matthew Maxwell Scott executive director of ACSO, 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 incidence 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.”

Maxwell Scott went on to note that claims incidence for employer liability, public liability and clinical negligence was broadly flat on the previous quarter, but well down compared to the same period last year.

He said: “There has been very little increase in employer liability and public liability 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.”

ACSO welcomes 16 new members in 2020

The trade association, which represents companies that help consumers with civil claims, has bolstered its membership by 16 this year. The new influx of full and associate members takes its total to 60, with a combined turnover in excess of £1 billion.

According to Maxwell Scott, the substantial increase in membership is partly down to the new members “buying into our view that the claims sector is best served by a single, powerful voice that has the interests of consumers as its core purpose”.

He said: “We have substantially broadened our remit to cover areas of civil justice where our industry had no voice at all, such claims management company regulation and legal expenses insurance, both of which have a huge social impact. We’re now active in nine core policy areas which are all connected to supporting consumers in the civil justice system.”

“We’re also delighted to welcome lawtech firms such as Rocket Lawyer, NuvaLaw and Zeus Technology Solutions, who will play a key role in guiding our ambition to improve access to justice through technology, not least during the Covid pandemic, which has caused a growing backlog in civil cases.” 

ACSO is also taking on responsibility for the rehabilitation sector, after lobby group Together4Rehab decided to fold into the trade association. 

Maxwell Scott said: “We worked closely with Together4Rehab members to agree remote arrangements with the ABI during lockdown and it became clear that their interests would be better served by being part of a bigger organisation.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk