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Whiplash Reform Delay: What does it mean for Insurers?

28 February 2020
Nigel Teasdale, Head of Motor & Fraud at DWF, comments on the latest Whiplash Reform parliamentary statement:

Nigel said "In itself, the announcement of a delay in implementation of the Civil Liability Act is perhaps one of the biggest non-news stories of recent times as it has been inevitable now for some months. The fact that the Ministry of Justice haven’t been able to even come out and confirm the delay until 26 working days before it was due to come into effect shows some of the pressures they have been under.

Whilst we have a little bit of breathing space with a new proposed date of 1st August 2020, we still however urgently need to see the draft secondary legislation, including the proposed tariff which requires a consultation with the Lord Chief Justice, together with the proposed civil procedure rules and protocol changes in order that both sides of the industry can properly plan for implementation.
It is disappointing that the government has not been able to commit to when those will be produced, instead of a bland assertion they will be produced "in sufficient time". Some might say that for 1st August 2020 implementation 'sufficient time' would have been 1st February 2020 and confidence based on what has happened to date, is understandably low that the 3 month hiatus will be sufficient time to tie all the loose ends.

We now have final confirmation that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will not be a part of this but again there is no detail as to what the bespoke processes are that the MOJ say will be developed to enable litigants to go to court to establish liability.

To fill the gap highlighted previously, the government has indicated that infants and protected parties will pursue their claims under the current fast track, presumably irrespective of value as most claims should be below the existing small claims limit of £1000, so that they can access legal representation under the existing cost regime. This effectively increases the 'value' of a childs' claim and insurers will have to closely monitor whether such infant passenger claims increase, and the validity of such claims."

Further Reading