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Ministry of Justice Reforms

What the Reforms are intended to do:-

• Make lawyers costs proportionate
• Combat the compensation culture
• Create an environment where insurers can pass on savings to their clients via lower premiums

The main changes:-

• Extension of MOJ portal to include Public & Employers’ Liability claims
• Introduction of stricter timescales for decisions on liability
• Reduction in solicitors costs via fixed fees for claims up to £25k
• Defendants will have to pay their own costs even when successful
• Success fees will no longer be recoverable from the losing party
• ATE premiums will no longer be recoverable
• Referral fees will be banned
• Increase of 10% on general damages awards for pain and suffering
• New Part 36 penalty of 10% - if offer not accepted and award at court is higher the claimant will receive a 10% increase


What this means:-

With effect from 31st July 2013 all Employers Liability & Public Liability injury claims occurring after this 31/7/13 with a value of £1,000 - £25,000 are to be reported via the online portal by the Claimant’s solicitors to the relevant Insurance Company.  This will bring them in line with the Road Traffic Accidents (RTA’s) injury claims.

However, not all Public Liability injury claims will be reported via the Portal in the first instance, as the Third Party Solicitors may not be aware of who the Insurers are for the risk/area where the accident occurred.   These claims will be reported via post using a Claims Notification Form (CNF) which could either be sent to the landlord or property manager.  Upon receipt of the CNF the receiving party (landlord, property manager)  MUST acknowledge receipt electronically to the claimant’s solicitors providing insurers details and notify Morrison Insurance Solutions within 24 hours.

Once receipt of the CNF Insurers will then acknowledge the Third Party Solicitors via the portal and the Claimant’s Solicitors will then have 30 days to complete and resubmit claim on the Portal.

Should these timescales not be adhered to this could result in the claim falling out of this portal process resulting in higher costs.

Time is of the essence – we all need to act promptly


Claims which cannot be reported via the portal:-

• Any accidents prior to 31st July 2013
• Any claims where contributory negligence, causation is disputed or fraud is alleged
• Disease Claims
• Mesothelioma Claims
• Clinical negligence


Timescales for decisions on liability for Portal Claims:-

Number of working days to admit or dispute liability:-  

EL 30 Days (Currently 90 days)
PL 40 Days (Currently 90 days

In view of the stricter timescales the onus is on the client to provide all the information upfront in order for insurers to make a decision on liability.  Should the information not be supplied within the given time period the claim will revert to being handled in the normal manner and non portal costs will be higher resulting in higher premiums.


Proposed fixed fee solicitors costs within the Portal :-

 

Type of Claim

Damages Value Band

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3
(Written Hearing)

Stage 3
(Oral Hearing)

EL/PL

£1K to £10K

£300

£600

£250

£500

EL/PL

£10K to £24K

£300

£1300

£250

£500


What action should the client take to ensure the timescales are adhered to:-

• Ensure key personnel are aware of these changes,  timescales involved and urgent action needed
• Look out for any Claim Notification Form (CNF)
• Acknowledge claim within 24 hours to the claimants solicitors but do not comment on liability and send to Morrison Insurance Solutions on the same day
• Ensure all actual or potential injury claims that may give rise to a claim are reported immediately so investigations may commence prior to a formal claim being submitted
• Ensure all relevant documentation relating to an accident is fully completed, collated and readily accessible
• Respond promptly and fully to any requests for any information and documentation
• When a Claims Inspector books an appointment for a site visit please ensure all relevant documentation is available to give to them when they arrive
• Confirm point of contact or details of person who can agree decisions on liability via telephone
 

Without all of the accident circumstances, information and supporting documentation insurers will have to make a risk based decision on whether to let a claim fall out of the portal and incur additional costs or settle when they may have been able to repudiate if full information was provided on day one.


Checklist of information/actions required for PL Claims:-

• Notify Morrison Insurance Solutions of any accidents which may result in a claim
• Name and telephone number of point of contact at insured’s organisation
• All accidents should be investigated at time of incident
• Photographs of defect should be taken
• Inspection Records
• Maintenance Records
• Witness Statements obtained, if applicable
• Accident Report, if aware of incident
• Documentary evidence the defect has been repaired
• CCTV footage (or ensure it is retained)
• All documentation should be collated and kept readily available


Checklist of information required by insurers for EL Claims:-

• Notify Morrison Insurance Solutions of any accidents which may result in a claim
• Name and telephone number of point of contact at insured’s organisation
• Accident book entry
• Post-accident investigation report
• Photographs of accident location
• RIDDOR (Reporting of injuries, diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995)
• Risk Assessments
• Training Records
• Witness’ Statements
• CCTV footage (or ensure it is retained)
• Pre and post-accident earning details
• All documentation should be collated and kept readily available


What to do next

We have a dedicated Claims Team of friendly helpful people with high levels of technical expertise, who are ready to assist you when you need to make a claim under your policy. If you would like more information or help regarding the new Ministry of Justice changes please don't hesitate to contact us today.

Call 01789 761 680

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