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2 June 2021

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Whiplash reforms look to soothe the pain in the neck of bogus claims

Back in 2015, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the intention to ‘ban whiplash claims’ resulting from road traffic accidents, in an ambitious plan to stop fraudulent claims and potentially reduce the cost of motor insurance premiums. Five years later, this has now become a reality with these long-awaited whiplash reforms coming into force on 31st May 2021.

What are the changes?

There are two tariffs for whiplash: ‘whiplash only’ and ‘whiplash with minor psychological injury’. Most claims, around 80%, will fall under the ‘whiplash only’ category

  •        All qualifying claims will be managed online via a new Official Injury Claims portal (OIC)
  •       A whiplash claim will need to be supported by medical evidence
  •       Compensation levels will be significantly reduced
  •       The Small Claims Track limit will increase to £5,000, and as legal costs are no longer payable up to this amount, it will not be so attractive to solicitors and claims management companies

How can you help?

Try to act fast. Insurers will have a 30-day time limit on liability decisions, so the quicker they receive all the information, the quicker they can make an informed decision. To help with this, remind your staff of what they should do in the event of an accident:

o   Complete a claim form, or use our Roadside App, as soon as possible once an accident with a third party has occurred

o   Ensure that their statements of truth are signed

o   Whilst still fresh in their minds, write their ‘version of events’

o   Make sure that all witness, third party and passenger details are recorded and remind them to take photographic evidence of the scene of the incident

o   If injured, they should seek medical help straight away

If you have any questions regarding this reform, or would like a more in-depth explanation, please contact our Claims Manager Karen Hume on  020 7330 8750 or at