31 May marked a major change in the way whiplash and other low value injury claims are handled. Medical evidence is now mandatory for claimants seeking whiplash compensation, fixed tariffs are applied based on injury duration, and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau has deployed a new self-serve portal. This has introduced new ways of working and prompted pushes to avoid disruption to claims operations, including integration of new and existing systems and processes.
As insurers and claims organisations work to adapt and acclimatise to these new ways of doing business, data-driven insights into both claims managed through the new portal and broader personal injury trends, will be critical to avoid claims handling disruption.
Identifying trends amid the uncertainty
Verisk is well-placed to provide detailed initial analysis of OIC portal claim frequency and trends. Claims Outcome Advisor (COA) is used by a large proportion of the UK insurance market to handle Personal Injury claims, with 19 active insurers already taking advantage of the COA-OIC portal integration.
Data already shows a similar proportion of new motor claims now being notified via the OIC portal after the first month of introduction – and more patterns are emerging:
- Claims brought by LIPs could be set to trend downwards
Early analysis of several thousand claims shows the number brought by litigants in person (LIPs) is currently trending at approximately 11%. This is a lower figure than many expected, and presents both challenges and opportunities – is there a lack of awareness surrounding the portal, and does this low volume give portal users a chance to overcome teething problems? This percentage could be set to fall further as integration issues come to the fore, preventing claimant representatives from submitting claims and sparking a rising backlog.
- Non-whiplash tariff injuries are prominent
Data provided at initial notification suggests non-whiplash tariff injuries could be seen in as many as 2 in 3 claims, with 1 in 4 claims indicating possible exceptional circumstances or injury severity. It is too early to effectively analyse savings such as legal costs, average payouts or unintended consequences of the reforms, but Verisk is already working to compile this data.
A new portal brings new insurer challenges
Organisations lacking a dedicated claims management solution complete with portal integrations will need to manually access, monitor and process claims through two separate and isolated portals. This also brings the risk of duplication across both portals with claims mistakenly submitted to both, or moving from one portal to the other as the claim matures.
There is also an underlying financial threat to insurers – those who fail to complete liability investigations and respond within the allotted 30 days now admit full liability by default. Process inefficiencies can compound this in the event of claims being incorrectly directed to the wrong insurer, further reducing the available time to carry out investigations. Visibility is key to avoid accidental admissions in these situations.
Technology leads the way to a single source of truth
Verisk has proactively worked to fully integrate OIC portal claims into its flagship COA suite, completing this in advance of the 31 May implementation date. This integration pulls data from the OIC portal directly into COA, pooling data from both OIC and MoJ portal claims within a single centralised system. This eliminates rekeying and means claims handlers don’t have to work across two portals simultaneously or continually log in for updates.
This ‘single source of truth’ within COA has made the platform highly popular and effective – indeed, COA has helped insurers process over two million claims across both the MoJ and OIC portals to date.
Verisk also has a comprehensive management information suite and dashboard that can provide further detailed insights and normalise data for accurate comparisons across the entire personal injury claims landscape.
More to be done?
Industry collaboration will be key to ensuring the personal injury market in England and Wales is not disrupted by long-term consequences of the new reforms and can continue to consistently serve policyholders in a timely and fair manner.
Verisk, for example, has introduced fortnightly OIC information sessions and developed a dedicated e-learning centre, helping organisations better understand how the OIC portal works and the impact on existing business processes.
Beyond this, training, documentation, further technology innovation and the establishment of best-practice for portal claims will all assist with the readjustment.
There’s still time to prepare claims operations
The industry is still in flux – but as time passes, the volume of OIC portal claims will stabilise, claimants will become increasingly aware of the new portal procedure and claim handlers will settle into new business processes.
Yet question marks still remain over hybrid or ‘tariff plus’ claims, which could yet emerge as another challenge for insurers and claims organisations to overcome. The introduction of one set of regulations, as with all industries, also means more changes will likely follow in the coming years – bringing further operational disruption.
These uncertainties mean insurers would be wise to adopt a fit-for-purpose claims management solution capable of future integration with further portals, processes and third-party systems. Verisk will continue to analyse aggregated claims data and provide relevant insights to help insurers adjust their plans and provisioning.
Click here to learn more about how the Claims Outcome Advisor suite from Verisk can enhance your portal claims operations and wider personal injury claims management with full OIC integration.