The insurance industry’s plans to deter people from making claims for injuries suffered in road traffic accidents do not seem to be working.
In 2014, more than 12 months on from the introduction of LASPO, the number of RTA claims rose above the number that were being recorded before the reforms were introduced, according to the RTA Portal website.
The figures showed that throughout last year, 837,317 claims were submitted for RTA accidents, which is a staggering 4000 more than pre-LASPO in 2012..
Sadly, it is not only the genuine accident victim that hasn’t been deterred by this revelation. The insurance industry are ramping up their latest piece of propaganda, claiming that LASPO wasn’t enough to defeat the imaginary war against the ‘compensation culture’, and are that more changes are needed moving forward.
But how reliable are these figures and do they really suggest that the reforms are not working? Do we need more reforms?
Well, not if you take into account the recent revelation that there has been a drop in the number of whiplash claims being made since LASPO.
It is hard to keep up with the insurers on whether or not they are for or against the outcomes of the reforms, as the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFOA) revealed that the number of whiplash-related, bodily injury claims, being made had fallen by 19%. This is supported by a 65% drop in the number of whiplash-related third party injury claims being made.
Speaking about the revelations of rising RTA claims, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers President, John Spencer claimed that the figures are misleading, due to the threshold for making claims in the portal increasing from £10,000 to £25,000.
He said: “If you deduct the proportion of cases likely to be in the £10,000-£25,000 category, the claims have gone down in net terms by about 5%… It is mischievous to say otherwise.”
Surely we are not suggesting that the insurance industry and even the insurer-backed government might twist the figures “mischievously” for their own agenda are we? It is not like they have done this before is it?
Spencer went on to blame the insurer’s insistence for the reforms to be introduced in the first place as the reason behind their own unhappiness with the outcomes.
He added: “The barn door of alternative business structures was left open so an insurance company could wholly own a solicitors practice, which was never the intention of Jackson.”
Scott Rees and Co support APIL’s stance on this with the firm’s partner, David Byrne, criticising the insurances take on the newly released figures.
He said: “It is clear that we are seeing yet another propaganda exercise from the insurers in regards to forcing the Government’s hand when it comes to future reforms.”
“It is extremely concerning for the future of the industry, especially when it comes to the insurer’s favourite target, the small claims limit, which will no doubt be the focus of these calls for more action in the future.”