Having recently stated that the changes will come into force for accidents occurring on or after 30th April 2010, it is important that UK drivers are aware of the changes and what they mean.
The proposals take into account personal injury claims following a road traffic accident valued between £1,000 and £10,000, and ensure that compensation is settled with the claimant in a fair, cost-effective and quicker manner.
Fixed timelines will be put in place to agree liability and place a value on any personal injury, thus reducing legal costs and administrative expenses. Moreover, a new electronic industry portal will be used by insurers, lawyers and compensators to expedite the exchange of information during the claim process.
The three stage process means that insurers have a 15 day period in which to respond to an injury claim, which will have been notified through the portal by the claimants lawyer. Once medical reports have been obtained, insurers must operate within a strict timetable to negotiate and agree a compensation amount with the claimant.
A spokesperson for Staveley Head, a leading van insurance broker based in North Wales, commented:
We welcome these reforms, and our claims management team are now geared up for the changes. What is most important though, is that incidents must be reported to us more quickly; certainly within 15 days of the incident occurring.
Currently, on average, it can take 30 days before we learn of an incident. If the claimants solicitor has submitted an injury claim in the meantime, it is unlikely that we will be able to make a decision on liability within the necessary timescales.
This would mean that the claim would be handled outside the process, increasing costs and consequently having a negative impact on a drivers history and renewal premium.
For more information regarding these reforms, or to benefit from Staveley Heads unique cheap van insurance claims service, call 0845 017 9991 or visit www.staveleyhead.co.uk/van/