top of page

Medical reporting data challenges insurers’ claims on mixed injuries

The ACSO report, ‘Assessing Mixed-Injury Claims in the Official Injury Claim Portal,’ explores the number of injury cases submitted to the OIC portal where there is a whiplash plus other injuries.

Data from leading medical reporting organisations, which work with both claimant law firms and defendant insurers and are anonymised for reasons of commercial confidentiality, show the following:

  •  MRO 1 data show that the proportion of mixed-injury claims was around the same in 2019 as 2023, i.e. before and after the launch of the OIC. However, the number of non-whiplash injuries reported per medical report has increased by 8.3 percent.

  • MRO 2 data also reveal the number of mixed-injury claims has remained fairly consistent from Q1 2019 to Q4 2022, but again that the number of injured areas saw an 8.6 per cent increase from the data period; and

  • The collected MRO 3 data suggest a rise in the number of mixed-injury claims from 45 percent of reports in 2019 to 58 percent in 2023, with the number of injured areas increasing by 15.8 percent over the period. The higher numbers here reflect that MedCo added six additional injury categories following the implementation of the Civil Liability Act in 2021.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, noted that insurer bodies the ABI and FOIL both claim mixed injury claims had risen “very significantly” since the OIC began its work in 2021. They point to OIC data that shows 67 per cent of submitted claims were mixed injuries.

But in response he said that insurers are comparing “apples with pears.”

He said: “The reality, as the medical data illustrates, is more prosaic, and is down to the impact of the tariff and to big decreases in the number of minor claims being made since 2021.”

“The MRO data is the most objective available as it looks at settled claims only and cites reports that actually describe the injuries.”

Turning to the data, he explained: “Although all MROs point to a small increase in the number of injuries per claim of between 8 and 16 per cent, this is to be expected due to the decreased value of whiplash-only claims. This increase is also in a market which has roughly halved in size, and so represents a much smaller overall number of claims.

“Additionally, difficulty in legal funding for low-value whiplash-only claims has almost certainly dissuaded many consumers from pursuing these, particularly without legal representation.”

Mr Maxwell Scott said he hoped the supreme court would rule on behalf of consumers when it publishes its judgement, expected in the summer.

“Insurers have sought to re-create a panic around an epidemic of mixed injury, but objective medical reporting data does not support this assertion, and I hope the court will take account of this new data.

He said ACSO will also send the report to the justice select committee, which is reviewing the government’s whiplash reforms and the operation of the OIC, and to others.

“Consumers have so far got a pretty raw deal from the whiplash reforms, with motor insurance premiums at historic highs and no sign so far of any of the savings motorists were promised.

“Stripping the rights from those who have non-whiplash injuries would be taking things even further, and it is not what the legislation was intended to achieve.”

9 views0 comments


bottom of page