Minster Law launches INK claims portal

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Minster Law has launched INK, a digital portal for personal injury claims serving 16,000 customers since going live in July.

Shirley Woolham, chief executive officer of Yorkshire-based Minster Law, hailed INK as the first fully operational digital claims journey in the sector.

She said that 70% of Minster Law’s customers suffering minor injuries are currently using INK, and the target was 95% usage within the next six to 12 months.

Woolham continued: “After two years working on INK, including substantially re-engineering our business to become reform ready, I am very proud that Minster Law is the first legal services firm in the UK claims sector to offer a start-to-finish digital claims journey to our customers and our partners.”

She said INK, which is mobile-enabled and provides omni-channel claims servicing, has achieved 95% satisfaction rates among customers and will lock seamlessly into the government’s small claims portal when it finally goes live next year.

Woolham said: “This is not just a shiny piece of front-end kit with a clunky back office sat behind it. As well as the customer-facing portal, we have spent £5 million re-developing our entire back office operation to enable INK to scale immediately and handle anything from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of volume injury claims.”

INK is a key element in an omni-channel claims journey with Minster Law, which provides human interaction for customers who need it, and an element of the onboarding process is still done by telephone. 

From that point, the rest of the claim can be managed online, including medical and rehabilitation appointments, all documents and correspondence, loss registration, settlement and case progression updates. 

Turning to the new Ministry of Justice (MoJ) small claims portal, due to launch in April next year, Woolham said: “We have built INK to plug into the MoJ portal, and we’ll be able to retrofit our system around the new rules from the Civil Procedure Rule Committee when they appear. It means our customers stay within the INK process but behind the scenes the claim will follow the requirements of the MoJ’s small claims portal; we can do all the work on our customers’ behalf.”

Woolham said that INK underlined Minster Law’s status as a ‘reform ready’ legal services firm, and it is the first digital claims operation in the sector to perform high-quality claims processing at scale.

As well as onboarding customers from Minster Law’s existing partners, the firm is talking to a number of other potential insurers.

Woolham said: “Insurers wanting a super low-cost volume injury claims service with very high levels of customer satisfaction should come and talk to us.”  

Minster Law recently reported a £1.1 million profit for 2019 on turnover of £34.1 million.

Those results were down on 2018, when Minster Law reported a £1.9 million profit on turnover of £35.1 million. Woolham said the result was a “considerable achievement in light of the exceptional trading conditions created as a result of Covid-19”.

Commenting further on the results, Woolham said the pandemic had impacted new business volumes after official figures from the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) showed a 40% drop in motor accident injury claims between April and June 2020 compared to the previous quarter. 

She said: “It’s been encouraging to see new business volumes gradually returning to more normal levels over the past few months, but the market is still volatile. We’ve seen far less volatility in bike related claims, one of our specialisms, where we serve around one-third of the entire market.”

Woolham predicted that INK will leave the firm “well-positioned” to take advantage of the changes to road traffic accident claims in April 2021, “as insurers and brokers look to more innovative partners who can provide efficient, scalable and customer-led claims solutions for a post-reform world”.

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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