The new RTA claims portal – is it working?
What is the Official Injury Claims Portal?
The Official Injury Claims Portal was developed by the Motor Insurers Bureau to enable individuals who have been injured in road traffic accidents to apply for compensation. The portal aims to deal with low value RTA claims efficiently – without the need for legal assistance. This service was created in an attempt to reduce the number and cost of these claims – but is it working?
Is the portal working?
The OIC service has released the statistics between December 1st 2021 and March 31st 2022 period. Across the claims reviewed, 91% had professional representation, while only 9% were unrepresented. Within this statistic, 76% of claims were represented by law firms. Furthermore, the overall number of new claims has decreased by 50% from last year. Such a dramatic fall in new claims cannot be attributed to the impact of Covid-19 or other possible economic factors; it must be the result of the OIC and its processes.
But why is this?
The combination of low volumes of claims and the low numbers of unrepresented claimants indicate that claimants may be unsure about how to make a claim, how to navigate the portal or are hesitant to take action without legal assistance. There is also an issue of claimants not knowing what their claim is worth. These factors, possibly contributing to the decrease, have raised concerns about the structure and fairness of the OIC.
Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisation states: “it is becoming ever-clearer that the ‘user-friendly’ OIC portal promised by ministers is complex, legalistic, and difficult for claimants to use without professional support.
What could be done to improve the portal?
To improve the portal, it has been suggested that a control committee should be implemented. This would be a team of people with technical expertise to assist claimants with any day-to-day issues they face when processing their claim. In the current system, issues are fixed through feedback, which is highly ineffective. The control committee could further simplify the navigation and usability of the portal.
In light of the statistics, it can be concluded that the portal is in need of urgent reconsideration. The OIC’s aim was to be an easier option for victims of road traffic accidents to obtain compensation for their injuries but evidently, this aim is not being met. Improvements need to be made to the system so that it can achieve its aim and help more claimants with their personal injury claims.
The author of this blog is Ciara Carrey from our Personal Injury team.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, you may wish to seek legal representation or advice. At Hodge Jones and Allen we have a legal team who have a wealth of experience in road traffic accident claims. Contact our leading Personal Injury solicitors now on 0808 252 5231 or request a call back.