An analysis of the UK personal injury market

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Political and Market Advisory

After a turbulent 6 months complete with a snap election and a new minority Government coming into power, the Government announced the agenda for the coming parliamentary session. Whilst the legislative programme focused heavily on Brexit, there were a number of announcements which potentially stand to directly benefit compensators.

1.  Civil Liability Bill

The bill resurrects measures, including a ban on pre-medical offers and the introduction of a new tariff for whiplash claims of up to two years duration, to reform the personal injury claims process with a view to tackling the spiralling cost of whiplash claims. It is not yet clear whether the bill will be used as the legislative vehicle to bring about changes to how the discount rate is calculated and set, although the outcome of the recent consultation on the discount rate is still awaited.

2.  The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill

The bill amends the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) and bring regulatory oversight of Claims Management Companies within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority.

3.  The Courts Bill

The bill will put an end to direct cross examination of domestic violence victims by their attackers and allow the use of virtual hearings. It will introduce digital services to allow businesses to pursue debt cases more expeditiously and allow fixed penalty matters to be dealt with more efficiently.  It is also expected to introduce measures necessary to bring the Briggs on-line court into existence.

4.  The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

This bill will introduce an extension of compulsory motor insurance to cover the use of vehicles driving in autonomous mode and allow the Government to install electric and hydrogen charging points, creating a network across the UK.

5.  The Data Protection Bill

This bill implements and builds on the EU General Data Protection Regulation so that the UK will remain compliant whilst still a member of the EU and presumably beyond.

It is of course early days and the full contents of the bills are awaited. We will be keeping a watching brief and will report back as soon as there are any further developments. In the meantime, should you wish to discuss this in more detail, or would like assistance with any other matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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