ACSO blog: OIC meetings more talk than action

Posted on Tue, 26/03/2024

In the summer of 2023, the Motor Insurers Bureau played host to various insurance and legal industry leaders and consumer groups to discuss ways to improve the Official Injury Claim portal.

Across three sessions at MIB Towers in Milton Keynes, Post-Its were attached to walls, data were discussed, sandwiches consumed and Ministry of Justice notes silently taken.

Now, some nine months later, the fruits of our interaction have been revealed through the minutes of the OIC Advisory Group’s February meeting.

The discussions were pared down to 22 proposals, some of which are identified as coming from compensator representatives, some from claimant.

Of the 22, a total of 15 have been immediately dismissed, with “No further work will be undertaken on this point” the official conclusion. That includes another rejection of alternative dispute resolution being added, as was originally the plan. A further two responses are also in the negative but subject to the government response to its July 2023 ‘Revisions to the Medical Reporting Process for Road Traffic Accident Claims’ consultation, promised by the end of January but now only due a new timetable for publication by the end of Q2.

Those of us who believe the troubled implementation of the OIC would have gone more smoothly if more stakeholders had been involved in its design might now wonder if our faith in collaboration is misplaced, as long as ‘computer says no’ is the default response.

Nonetheless, it is essential we continue to interreact and hope that in future the views of industry practitioners will not just be sought but acted upon. Meanwhile work is underway on the statutory review of the whiplash tariff and commentators eagerly await the outcome of the Financial Conduct Authority’s study into the savings from the reform programme, due after the end of May. The OIC story, and what it can teach us about the future of civil justice in England and Wales, still has many chapters to come.