There has been a lot of data released over the past few months with regard to claims during the Covid-19 pandemic. This trend shows no sign of abating, and as more weeks go by, the data should become more relevant and trustworthy, depending on who is providing it.

One consequence of reduced vehicle usage has been highlighted by data released by the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO). This suggests that the number of motor accident injury claims fell dramatically between April and June with a drop of 60,000 claims from the previous quarter, or a 40% reduction, reflecting a long-term declining trend in the number of motor-related claims registered with CRU. Claims fell from nearly 830,000 in 2011-12 to just over 650,000 last year.

Additionally, motor injury claims between January and March 2020 were on par with the same period in 2019, while claims for the April-to-June period came in at 94,733 (versus 146,844 in 2019), revealing a 35% reduction year on year. However, this drop in claims is not likely to last.

There is an obvious expectation that motor injury claims will start to rise again as people return to normal driving patterns after the lock-down, but the overall annual figures for 2020 will inevitably report another big fall in motor injury claims.

On the non-motor side, ACSO pointed out that claims have fallen across the board between the first and second quarter of 2020. This included clinical negligence, which saw a 46% reduction, employer liability with a 25% drop, and public liability with a 29% fall. The overall decrease in personal injury claims between January and March, and April to the end of June was 37%, highlighting the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the insurance claims sector.

Figures such as these will no doubt further fuel the debate as to whether premium refunds, or even premium increases, are justifiable.

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