An overview of the personal injury market in the UK

Alex Hamilton  |

The number of companies offering personal injury claims management services is growing every year. Only a complete overview of the personal injury market can help readers understand what the general trends are. The experts in this field state that it registered a major transformation during the last years, and these changes have effects to the companies that offer these services. It is important to identify the latest trends in the personal injury market, in order to create an overview.

Here are the main classes of claims people are registering in the UK: motor, public liability, employers’ liability, disease, abuse, and clinical negligence. It is also important to note that the UK personal injury market is complex, no matter on what side of the fence you sit. During the last year, the trends have considerably changed, if it were to compare them with the ones from the early 2000s.

The motor claims

The road traffic claim numbers in 2018 have shown an increase, compared with the ones from 2017, even if towards the middle of the year a reduction in the number of accidents has been registered. A further increase is expected to be registered in 2019, especially in young drivers. The main differences in the data can be attributed to the changes in legislation, procedure and process, because the regulations experience seasonal trends. Some studies show that the latest numbers of road traffic accident injury claims are largely static, but there are some increases in the first and fourth quarter of 2018. The last quarter of 2018 registered the highest number of claims since 2013.

Even if we do not have the data for January 2019, the Claims Portal states that a decrease in the number of motor claims has been registered. This means that a return to the high number of road traffic accident claims registered in 2013 is unlikely. But, even if the beginning of the year registered a decrease in the number of claims, it is expected it to reach at least the same numbers as in 2018, or even a modest increase towards the end of the year. Specialists state that Brexit could trigger an increase of the motor claims.

Public liability

The statistics show that in 2018 it has been registered a small reduction in the number of public liability claims. Since 2011, the number of public liability claims remained around 100,000. But it is important to note that the data for this type of claims is not complete and it does not cover a long period of time, to have a complex overview. The same statistics show that the repudiation rates have increased with around 10% in 2018. In 2019, a further rise is expected, with at least 5%. There are two main factors that lead to the growth of the repudiation rates: the technological advancements that offer the possibility to detect fraud, and the reduced potential to make a profit on these claims.

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Employers’ liability

The statistics show a small decline in the number of employers’ liability since 2017. Even if the repudiation rates have, the tendency to increase, the number of the personal injury claims registered a decline, because companies have started to show a greater interest for their employees’ safety. Also, another factor that influences this decline is the fact that less human workers are used in heavy manufacturing processes in the UK, because they have been heavily replaced by robots and machines. Companies worldwide promote high health and safety standards.

Disease

The companies that offer personal injury claims services registered a dramatic rise in the disease claims. The studies show that the number of claims has increased with around 140% since 2014. The rise of the number of claims can have as a reason the fact that people are suffering from noise-induced hearing loss. Even if the laws state that a claim should not be registered if the loss does not exceed 50 dBs in one or both ears, some insurers have decided to register the claims, no matter what the law states. Also, some insurers do not register all the noise induced hearing loss claims they receive, therefore, there are great chances the number recorded by the statistics to be underestimated.

But the statistics also show that the present disease protocol is no longer suitable for the present conditions and it should be reformed. Another category of disease personal injury claims that registered a growth is asbestos.

Abuse

The number of claims registered as physical claims or sexual abuse has reached a new peak. Even if the present number may seem low, when compared with the ones from other categories, it is quite significant, if we compare it with the volumes from 2012, and 2013. During the last years, the issue of abuse has been the hottest topic of the news. The latest claims include cases of children related abuse, abuse of vulnerable children who are part of the care system, and child sexual exploitation. The most encountered cases of abuse claims are the ones for sexual and physical abuse, the cases of emotional abuse are less frequent. In the majority of cases the abuse happens in a family setting, and the victim claims both sexual and physical abuse.

The studies show that 1 in 20 children in the UK has been sexually abused, more than 3,000 children are in need of protection from sexual abuse and around 24,000 sexual offences against children have been recorded by the police in the UK in 2018.

Clinical negligence

The statistics show that the number of clinical negligence claims has registered a significant increase in 2018. Between 1 January and 31 March 2018, more than 5,000 clinical negligence claims have been registered. It is considered one of the highest number of claims in this category in the last years, and it shows that it is expected the volumes to continue to increase.

The above trends show that the personal injury claims experience seasonal trends. January and November are consistently the months with the highest number of personal injury claims registered, and April and May with the lowest one.

DISCLOSURE: The author does not have any stake in the listed equities.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

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