UK Personal Injury Market 2018: Consumer Research Report

  • ID: 4655343
  • Report
  • Region: United Kingdom, Great Britain
  • 62 Pages
  • IRN Research
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The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Plans to Increase the Small Claims Limit for Most PI Cases to £5,000 from £1,000 in April 2020.

More regulatory and competitive pressures on their way  

The personal injury (PI) market is far from stable and this instability is set to continue. It has had to deal with a series of regulatory changes since the introduction of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and subsequent legislation. Further major changes are on the way: the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to increase the small claims limit for most PI cases to £5,000 from £1,000 in April 2020 which would mean that most cases would be dealt with by the small claims court. Our consumer research results show that most claims are £5,000 or less, effectively removing legal advisors from these claims, while many claimants would be concerned about dealing with these cases themselves.

Insurance companies are at the centre of the PI claims process but not many respondents believe that they can be left alone to offer the right amount of compensation: legal advisors are still needed. Service costs are now the most important criteria for those in our survey when choosing legal representation and this is of some concern especially if this heralds a period of price discounting which will only favour the volume players in the market. These volume players are already growing their share of the market making the PI sector the most heavily concentrated of all consumer legal sectors.  

Claim numbers are in decline but this is out of step with perceptions in this research as most individuals believe that more people are making claims now than five years ago.  However, most people also accept that whiplash is a genuine injury (if it involves medical treatment or medication) despite adverse publicity regarding bogus whiplash claims.   

Key Findings:

  • Majority of claim payouts are up to £5000 and would fall under new small claims limit set to be introduced in 2020.
  • Only 20% would be happy to take on a claim themselves through the small claims court.
  • A majority do not shop around when looking for an adviser.
  • Awareness of leading claims firms is relatively high but less so for leading PI law firms.  Brand awareness highest for NAH.
  • A clear majority believe that more people are lodging claims than ever before although this is out of step with the real picture, i.e. claims have been falling.
  • The most important factor when choosing a PI adviser is service cost
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1.0 Executive Summary

1.1 More regulatory and competitive pressures on their way
1.2 Incidents dominated by RTAs and accidents in a public place
1.3 Insurers at the centre of the claims process
1.4 Majority of pay-outs are £5,000 or less, within the proposed small claims limit
1.5 Insurers, solicitors, and CMCs all active in the claims process
1.6 Most claimants did not shop around for legal advice
1.7 Cost of advice is most important factor when choosing a legal advisor
1.8 General satisfaction with the claims advice and the outcome
1.9 Most individuals don’t want to take claims on by themselves
1.10 Direct marketing led by unsolicited phone calls
1.11 Awareness of leading CMCs is relatively high, but less so for leading law firms
1.12 Claim volumes continue to fall although modest increase in market value
1.13 No sign of stability for the PI market in the future

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Overview
2.2 Methodology
2.3 Abbreviations

3.0 Background

3.1 Key findings
3.2 Most adults suffering an injury have done it in a road traffic accident
3.3 Our survey says that more people are lodging claims now
3.4 Some would only pursue a claim if they had legal advice, others would go it alone

4.0 Personal Injury Claims

4.1 Key findings
4.2 Whiplash injuries and cuts/abrasions are the main groups of injuries
4.3 Insurers are involved in most RTA and whiplash claims
4.4 Various sources used when choosing a legal advisor
4.5 Most accept that whiplash is a genuine injury and claim
4.6 Few individuals take on a claim themselves
4.7 Some don’t claim when injury is considered not that bad
4.8 A significant group did not intend to claim but did in the end
4.9 Direct marketing from the claims industry – almost half of respondents have had a call

5.0 Claims Process

5.1 Key findings
5.2 Claimants turn to a mix of solicitors, insurers, and claims companies to settle a claim
5.3 Most claimants do consider the credentials of their legal advisor
5.4 Most claims are valued at less than £1,000
5.5 Most claims are settled out of court
5.6 Mixed views on whether claims process was simple or complicated

6.0 Claims Settlements and Small Claims

6.1 Key findings
6.2 Most pay-outs within the new small claims limit proposed from 2020
6.3 No win no fee deals still the most common funding method
6.4 Over 6 out of 10 claimants had a deduction from their final pay-out
6.5 Compensation paid - expectations met for most claimants
6.6 Legal expenses insurance – likely to be part of other policies or a membership
6.7 Some concerns about dealing with small claims alone, especially in court
6.8 More in favour of fixed fees for clinical negligence claims than against

7.0 Legal Services Providers - Selection and Satisfaction

7.1 Key findings
7.2 Most claimants do not shop around for the best legal advisor
7.3 Service costs and speed of service most important to claimants
7.4 Claimant satisfaction levels are OK but room for improvement
7.5 Most are satisfied with the general outcome of their case but not the financial deal

8.0 Awareness and Use of Personal Injury Brands

8.1 Key findings
8.2 Awareness of leading claims management companies is high, less so for law firms
8.3 High awareness does not always translate into high use
8.4 Some confusion about which brands advertise on TV
8.5 Some interest in specific non-legal brands

9.0 Market Trends

9.1 Key findings
9.2 Market value
9.3 Case numbers declining in last five years
9.4 RTA cases account for over three-quarters of all cases but numbers falling
9.5 Claims against the NHS fall in latest year
9.6 Claims Portal
9.7 Growing consolidation as law firms and CMCs leave the sector

10. Future Developments 

10.1 Key findings
10.2 The PI market is bracing itself for 2020
10.3 The research findings offer mixed news

List of Figures

Figure 1 Survey sample – demographic breakdown
Figure 2 Personal injuries suffered, 2018
Figure 3 Most recent type of injury suffered, 2018
Figure 4 Consumer attitudes to personal injuries and claims, 2018
Figure 5 Attitudes about pursuing a personal injury case, 2018
Figure 6 Major types of injury or disease/illness suffered, 2018
Figure 7 List of specific injuries/illnesses suffered, 2018
Figure 8 Sources used to make a claim, 2018
Figure 9 Sources used to find a legal representative, 2018
Figure 10 Proposed changes to the treatment of whiplash – consumer agreement with statement, 2018
Figure 11 The intention to claim for an accident or disease/illness, 2018
Figure 12 Marketing contacts made in the previous 12 months, 2018
Figure 13 Organisations contacted to settle a claim, 2018
Figure 14 Accredited law firms/solicitors/barristers, 2018
Figure 15 The nature of the claim, 2018
Figure 16 How claims were completed, 2018
Figure 17 Total claim pay outs, 2018
Figure 18 How claims are financed by type of settlement, 2018
Figure 19 Deductions from the final compensation – summary, 2018
Figure 20 Deductions from the final compensation – detailed data, 2018
Figure 21 Expectations for the final compensation, 2018
Figure 22 Ownership of legal expenses insurance, 2018
Figure 24 Fixed recoverable fees for clinical negligence cases, 2018
Figure 25 Consumers making a choice between providers, 2018
Figure 26 Main drivers of advisor choice, 2018
Figure 27 Rating of advisors by claimants (score between 1 and 5), 2018
Figure 28 Detailed satisfaction ratings of advisors, 2018
Figure 29 Brand awareness of personal injury companies, 2018
Figure 30 Brand awareness of personal injury companies – TV advertising, 2018
Figure 31 Potential future use of consumer brands covering personal injury cases, 2018
Figure 32 Cases with compensation payments registered with the CRU, 2011-2018
Figure 33 Settlements recorded by type, 2011/12-2017/18
Figure 34 Clinical claims dealt with and closed, 2009/10-2017/18
Figure 35 Number and value of settled claims on the Claims Portal (Year ending April), 2013/14-2017/18
Figure 36 Forecast value of the UK personal injury market (£bn), 2018-2022

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