Ministry of Justice Claims: an update for our clients, Sep 2013

As many of you will be aware, there were changes made earlier this year to the MoJ claims portal. In July 2013, the portal changed to accept claims for Employers Liability (EL) and Public Liability (PL). Further information on these changes can be found here.

 

As the use of the portal develops, we are becoming aware of how it is being used by Insurers and Claimant Solicitors.

 

Claimant’s Solicitors are dropping claims onto the Claims Portal without knowledge of who the relevant insurer is. The MOJ rules allow solicitors to do this when they cannot identify who the insurer is. This is primarily affecting PL claims, as there is currently no central database that confirms who the PL insurer is. Where solicitors are unable to identify the insurer, they will:

 

• Use the Claim Notification Form (CNF) within the Portal to complete the claim online. This enters the claim into the Claims Portal system and starts the protocol time clock ticking
• Print and post the CNF direct to the defendant
• The onus is on the defendant on receipt of the CNF to acknowledge it as being received by the next business working day with details of your insurer, their contact details and Policy Number

 

We need to adapt immediately in order to give Insurers and their Policyholders the best opportunities to proficiently deal with claims; so how can we achieve this?

 

We appreciate this can be time consuming, and incorrect information can easily be given. As a result, we have set up the following process in order to assist our clients with acknowledging receipt of a CNF form from a claimant’s solicitor:

 

• You need to pass on the CNF on the same day as it is received by you, either by email or fax to Bollington Internal Claims Department - email [email protected] or phone 01625 400205
• We will acknowledge receipt of the CNF to the Claimant’s Solicitor the same day of receipt on the client's behalf and provide them with the following information:
- Relevant policy number
- Name and address of their insurer
- Our claims reference
• We will then email the CNF to the Insurer on the same day it is received and provide a copy of the acknowledgement letter sent to the claimant’s solicitors.

 

Failure to comply with the above may result in the Insurer being penalised for not meeting pre-action protocol timescales and it may, if not adhered to:

• Affect the overall claims spend and mean insurers run the risk of paying higher costs
• Potentially provide the Claimant’s Solicitors with the chance to take the claim out of the portal, thereby removing the opportunity for the insurer to enjoy fixed costs
• Potentially have an adverse affect on your renewal premium as a result

 

Have you considered appointing a Reporting Investigations Officer (RIO)?

 

The MOJ’s aim is to keep as many claims as possible within the Claims Portal. Insurers, brokers and clients must work proactively together to reduce the amount of claims that may fall outside of the Claims Portal. RIO’s within a company would function as co-ordinators providing:
• A focal point where all employees know they have to report incidents to
• Assistance in collating evidence to support the claim
• An investigation and record keeping point of contact

 

An RIO could be a supervisor, manager, business owner or a diligent employee who is identified with the skills to do the role.

 

If you require any assistance regarding the content of this update, please contact Bollington Internal Claims Department on 01625 400205 or email [email protected]