More than 40 law firms, medical reporting agencies and rehabilitation providers, as well as a number of major insurers, have signed up to the ACSO/ABI-sponsored Statement of Intent.
The statement, which was extended for a further three weeks on 15 May, is designed to keep the wheels of justice turning during the Covid-19 pandemic, and ensure that injured people can get their claim settled promptly. Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) which represents businesses that support consumers making a claim, said his members remained fully committed to the statement of intent, and were keen to enlist support from the across the insurance sector. “So far the vast majority of insurers we or our members have engaged with have confirmed they are supportive of the principles of the statement of intent which they are applying in their own ways, including the likes of Admiral, Allianz, Aviva, DLG, Hastings, NFU Mutual and RSA.” He explained that the statement included temporary measures to resolve disputed claims, to counter the pressure on the courts and tribunals service, which is running well below capacity. The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to create a significant case backlog, which means injured people risk being unable to access treatment while their claim is in dispute.
The measures in the Statement of Intent include agreeing to remote medical examination and rehabilitation, extending the negotiation period, using established escalation points and/or consider joint settlement meetings and/or use of independent barristers’ chambers to arbitrate a settlement. Mr Maxwell Scott added: “We have to prepare for a long haul, when it comes to settling injury claims, because a return to anything resembling business as usual seems a fairly distant prospect. “We share the same customers, so we urge all parties to make use of the temporary measures to get cases settled as quickly as possible, to ease the backlog and make sure consumers don’t have to carry the after effects of their injuries any longer than necessary.”
For the list of claims firm signatories, please click here.