The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which has been mandated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to manage the delivery of a new personal injury claims service as part of the Civil Liability Act, has offered industry stakeholders a glimpse of the portal being developed.
In its latest update, the MIB published a profile of the ‘create claim’ portion of the service – outlining its features as required by the MoJ. These include the capacity to support claim notifications from individuals and from claimant representatives; provide free integrated Motor Insurance Database and Claims Underwriting Exchange personal injury checks; and capture heads of claim related to property damage, personal injury, and uninsured losses.
According to the MIB, demonstrations of what has been developed to date will be made available online as well as at events slated to take place this summer.
Among the industry stakeholders on the lookout for the new service is the Credit Hire Organisation (The CHO), an independent and self-regulated trade body that represents the interests of credit hire companies who provide intervention and direct hire services to customers in need of mobility following road traffic accidents.
Commenting on the MIB update, The CHO chair Kirsty McKno stated: “While this is – finally – an acknowledgement that property damage should be included within the process, it has not been confirmed what is included within that definition, how it will be explained to the claimant, how it will actually work, and whether the process will be truly independent.
“The MIB’s use of the term ‘capture’ leaves a concern that the process will favour intervention by insurers. Insurers employ intervention teams to contact injured people and offer them mobility and other services which enable them to save money on the claims cost, for example by offering a smaller vehicle to the customers’ own.
In McKno’s statement sent to Insurance Business, she also pointed to further misgivings.
“We are also concerned to ensure that we avoid instances where claims management companies fail to include credit hire elements on the claim notification, either through error or lack of knowledge or experience,” explained the chair.
“To do so means that the defendant (the insurer) can set these costs aside and the claimant won’t be able to claim for the cost of mobility while their own vehicle is being repaired. It is essential that rules are drafted to protect the claimant from such an eventuality.”
The CHO, meanwhile, has asked the Justice Committee to hold an inquiry into the undertaking. McKno asserted that there has been not only a lack of transparency with the portal programme but also a failure to ensure that claimant interests are fully accounted for.