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Record low in road traffic accident claims

Record low in road traffic accident claims


The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) reports the lowest-ever number of road traffic accident claims in Q4 2023, raising concerns about the real impact of government reforms

The Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) comments on the surprising data, pointing to potential implications for insurance premiums and the ongoing debate over the value of coverage.

The latest data from the government's Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) reveals a historic low in road traffic accident (RTA) claims for the last quarter of 2023, marking a significant downturn in personal injury claims despite annual mileage rates returning to pre-Covid levels. The Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) obtained this data through a Freedom of Information request, shedding light on a trend that challenges conventional expectations.

In Q4 2023, motor injury claims hit an unprecedented low of 83,050, continuing the downward trajectory observed throughout the year, which saw an all-time low of 352,230 claims. Comparatively, the previous lows were 84,257 for Q4 2022 and 370,645 for the entire year of 2022. These declines collectively contributed to an overall figure of 476,702 personal injury claims, the lowest on record and surpassing the previous year's record low of 484,969.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, the executive director of ACSO, commented on the surprising data. While the decrease in reported accidents might initially seem positive, Maxwell Scott posited that the number of RTAs might not have significantly changed. Instead, he suggested that in the face of extensive government reforms, fewer individuals are opting to claim for their injuries.

Maxwell Scott stated, "Even the insurance industry cannot now claim that lower-value personal injury claims are responsible for rising motor premiums." He pointed to the Financial Conduct Authority's pending review, due later in the year, assessing whether savings from recent whiplash reforms have contributed to a reduction in premiums.

The executive director also highlighted an upcoming Supreme Court case on February 20, where insurers seek to reduce compensation for multiple minor injuries suffered by consumers. Maxwell Scott expressed concerns about a sustained campaign by insurers to lower the cost of claims amid a dramatic fall in injury claim numbers. He raised pertinent questions about the actual value of insurance coverage as it appears to bring fewer benefits in the face of diminishing claims.

As the CRU data prompts reflection on the state of personal injury claims and insurance dynamics, industry stakeholders await further analysis and the outcomes of ongoing legal battles that could reshape the landscape of compensation and coverage.