Whiplash Reforms delayed by a month

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25 January, 2021

In a move likely to disappoint insurers, the reforms set to increase the small claims track limit for RTA claims to £5000 and to introduce a tariff for damages levels for whiplash claims due to come into effect in April 2021 have been further delayed until May 2021. We still await the tariff and rules that will apply and the detail of how it will all work.

The reforms have been a long time coming. Having originally been proposed in 2015, and then intended to be effective on 1 April 2019, they were delayed on several occasions due to the systems and processes that were needed not being ready. Before this latest announcement they were most recently delayed from an April 2020 start due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. This latest short delay comes after calls from various stakeholders to ensure that the industry has sufficient time to take the necessary steps to prepare their business for the change. At the moment the portal, called the Official Injury Claim Service, and which is being developed by the Motor Insurers Bureau, is not fully ready, the rules and pre action protocol to support the portal are not finalised, and the final damages tariff has not been published.

As we go to press, the exact date in May for implementation is not known. The expectation is that we will be given 3 months from the publishing of the detail to a go live date. The Civil Procedure Rules Committee which will finalise the rules and protocol is not due to meet in early February. However the MIB says it is on track on building the portal.

At the moment there has been no announcement on the proposed increase to the small claims track limit for EL and PL claims to £2000 although some claimant firms have called for that to be scrapped.

For more information contact Siobhan Hardy in our Insurance department via email or phone on 0113 386 2686. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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