A2J urges government rethink after Allianz redundancies confirm reduction in personal injury claims

1 February 2018

Access to Justice (A2J) renewed its call for the government to think again about reforms to personal injury after news that giant insurer Allianz is to cull 80 claims jobs in Manchester.

Allianz claims boss Graham Gibson said the decision was driven by “digitalisation and a falling number of claims.” Gibson was quoted in news reports as saying:  “Cars are basically getting safer and we are seeing a very clear reduction in [accident] frequency which is driving a reduction in personal injury claims.”

Andrew Twambley, spokesperson for A2J, said Mr Gibson’s views were echoed last year by Admiral, which told investors in August that claims were down. In a presentation to the City, Admiral said:

  • 2017 saw the lowest levels of new claims notification forms (CNFs) since the reforms brought about by the 2013 LASPO Act;
  • June 2017 saw the second-lowest level of CNFs received per working day since the LASPO reforms; and
  • Market expectation is that claims frequency and cost per claim will reduce.[1]

Mr Twambley said: “If even the insurers are saying that claims are falling, why is the government persisting with legislation intended to fix a problem that is already being fixed?”

“If Ministers need any further evidence that the Civil Liability Bill is unnecessary, Allianz has provided it. LASPO and other recent regulatory reforms have brought about fundamental changes in the market, yet ministers are seemingly blind to evidence that’s staring them in the face.”

Mr Twambley continued: “The new Lord Chancellor has a golden opportunity to put his foot on the ball and make an assessment based on the evidence available, which shows a year-on year fall in personal injury claims, thanks to the effects of LASPO and other far reaching regulatory changes.”

Otherwise, he risks hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, injured each year through no fault of their own, being unable to call on legal advice if they need to go to court to fight for compensation.

He said: “Persisting with these reforms makes a mockery of his own commitment, made in his speech on assuming the office of Lord Chancellor ‘to create a justice system that is open to all.’

 

Note to editors

The government measures would see those making motor-related personal injury claims worth up to £5,000 typically being unable to recoup the cost of any legal advice. In addition, a new tariff system is proposed to provide compensation for pain and suffering at a level greatly reduced from the current position.

These two factors, when combined, will result in the vast majority of injured persons being unable to secure legal representation.

 

About A2J

A2J represents the interests of the public and is supported by the broader personal injury (PI) sector. Its prime focus is to respond to the government’s proposed road traffic accident compensation reforms.

A2J provides a cohesive voice to fight these proposed draconian measures; it will work with the government and other interested parties to create sensible, balanced alternatives which protect individuals’ rights, while addressing the government’s concerns, particularly in relation to claims fraud.

For more information please contact: Ben Welsh 07568 382040

[1] https://admiralgroup.co.uk/sites/default/files_public/slides/2017/08/2017-interim-results-slides.pdf, p.20