The need to act immediately when an accident happens
Under the new regime, EL and PL claims (up to £25k) will be handled within a web based Portal process, which will be managed by our various Insurers.
Claimants still have three years in which to make a claim but will notify their claims directly to Insurers via the Portal. Defendants may no longer receive the traditional Claimants Solicitors letter and Insurers may learn that claims have been made against Policyholders before the defendant Policyholders themselves.
Once a claim is received, the defendants (or more usually Insurers on their behalf) must confirm whether liability is accepted within 30 days for EL and 40 days for PL. Previously there was a 90 day period to respond. If defendants do not respond within the deadline the claim will 'drop out' of the Portal and increased legal costs are payable.
Immediate accident investigation, evidence gathering and reporting are essential to ensure that the right decision is made within the deadline.
Once the liability decision has been communicated further deadlines apply to settlement negotiation and failure to comply again comes with cost sanctions.
The changes should benefit Insurers and Policyholders by driving down claim spend and legal costs. However, failure to comply will result in legal cost penalties that apply regardless of whether the claim eventually succeeds and winning defendants can no longer recover their costs from the 'other side'. If claims are not correctly managed the changes may lead to increased claims spend which could adversely affect insurance premiums.