There was a 38% fall in the number of injury claims registered with the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) during the first three months of lockdown, government figures have confirmed.
The CRU received 120,926 notifications between 1 April and 30 June, compared to 193,862 in the same period last year.
That was made up of 94,973 motor claims – 35% less than the same period in 2019 – and 2,117 clinical negligence claims, a drop of 36%.
It received 192,578 in the first quarter of 2020, as against 206,752 in 2019.
The first half of 2019 was 5% down on 2018; the first half of 2020 was 22% down on 2019.
Compensators who receive a claim for compensation must notify the CRU within 14 days.
The figures were published following a freedom of information request by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO).
ACSO executive director Matthew Maxwell Scott said: “Given Covid, it’s no surprise that there was a dramatic fall in the number of motor accident injury claims between April and June.
“The drop accelerates a long-term declining trend in the number of motor related claims registered with the CRU. These have fallen from nearly 830,000 in 2011-12 to just over 650,000 last year.”
Mr Maxwell Scott predicted that motor claims would start to rise again as people return to normal driving patterns after the lockdown, but the overall annual figures for 2020 would inevitably report another big fall.
“This underlines our view that personal injury claims numbers cannot continue to be cited as the reason for increasing car insurance premiums,” he said.
Citing the various agreements between claimant and defendant representatives to progress claims during lockdown – including ACSO’s with the Association of British Insurers – he said he hoped they would encourage further cooperation “to improve the customer claims journey and help reduce costs”.
He added: “By continuing to work together the wider industry will also be able to resolve many of the outstanding problems with the small claims portal, the implementation of which has been delayed until at least April 2021.”