Personal Injury Motor Claims Fall to Five-Year Low

  • Post last modified:May 29, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

The number of personal injury motor claims has plummeted to its lowest level in five years, according to the latest figures from the government’s Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU). 

The data, published in January, shows a significant decline in claims, challenging the insurance industry’s reporting of the impact of these claims on rising motor premiums.

How Big Is The Decrease In Claims?

In the final quarter of 2023, only 83,050 personal injury motor claims were filed, a decrease from 85,830 in the third quarter, 89,361 in the second quarter, and 93,989 in the first quarter of the same year. This figure is the lowest for any quarter since 2018, with the previous low being 84,257 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

On an annual basis, 352,230 personal injury claims were recorded throughout 2023, marking the lowest yearly total since 2018. These statistics were obtained by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (Acso) through a freedom of information request, in collaboration with Claims Bible.

How Have Government Reforms Affected Claims?

Acso’s executive director, Matthew Maxwell Scott, highlighted a critical perspective on the data. “On the face of it, there are fewer people reporting accidents and so that should be welcome. However, our view is that the number of road traffic accidents hasn’t changed much; it’s just that in the face of a litany of government reforms, fewer and fewer people are choosing to claim for their injuries,” he said.

What is the OIC Portal?

The decline in claims comes despite annual mileage rates returning to pre-Covid levels. A significant factor in this trend is the introduction of the Official Injury Claim (OIC) service portal in 2021 as part of the government’s whiplash reform program. 

This portal was designed to streamline the claims process and reduce the number of fraudulent or exaggerated claims.

In February 2023, the justice committee called for evidence on the impact of the OIC portal and other reforms. The committee’s report, published in September 2023, revealed that the average time to settle a case was 251 days, with projections indicating further increases in settlement times.

Rising Premiums Despite Fewer Claims

Acso has pointed out that with the reduction in personal injury motor claims, the insurance industry can no longer attribute rising motor premiums to lower-value personal injury claims. 

Recent data from and WTW shows that premiums surged by 58% over the past 12 months. UK motorists are now paying an average of £995 for premiums, with prices rising for nine consecutive quarters since Q4 2021. The final quarter of 2023 alone saw an average price increase of 8% (£71).

Maxwell Scott commented on the situation, saying, “The FCA’s review of whether savings from the whiplash reforms have helped reduce premiums, due later this year, will make for interesting reading. Given the dramatic fall in injury claims numbers, we need to ask what the value of cover is when it brings fewer and fewer benefits.”

Looking Ahead

The significant drop in personal injury motor claims raises important questions about  how successful government reforms have been and have impacted consumers. 

As the industry awaits the FCA’s upcoming review, stakeholders will be closely watching to see if the promised benefits of these reforms will be realised in the form of lower premiums and better value for motorists.

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