27th April 2021
Insurer urges businesses to report fleet incidents swiftly to avoid large costs on whiplash claims
- Under upcoming whiplash reforms, failure to respond within 30 working days will be deemed an admission of liability
- Slow reporting could cost fleets thousands in whiplash claims if new deadline isn’t met
- NFU Mutual Corporate Insurance has partnered with DAC Beachcroft to provide guidance ahead of the upcoming reforms
Fleet managers are being urged to review their reporting processes for minor road traffic accidents. The warning comes ahead of next month’s whiplash reforms, which will introduce a 30-working day deadline for their insurers to submit a response and accompanying evidence.
NFU Mutual Corporate Insurance has partnered with international law firm DAC Beachcroft, one of its panel solicitors, to share guidance with fleet managers ahead of the changes.
Paul Harris, Head of Large Corporate Claims at NFU Mutual, said: “Corporate fleets could stand to gain from the whiplash reforms provided they adapt to fulfil the new requirements.
“With a new tariff fixing compensation awards at lower rates than previously seen, businesses can look forward to more consistent and less costly outcomes.
“However to see these benefits, businesses may need to review their procedures to ensure they can react to the new timescales. It is vitally important to share as much information as quickly as possible with your insurer to put your business in the best position with incoming claims.”
The reforms will be implemented on the 31st of May, aiming to tackle the high number and costs of road traffic accident whiplash-related claims, and to ensure that any compensation awarded is proportionate to the level of injury suffered.
As part of the changes, claims will be processed on the new Official Injury Claim Portal, which has been developed to make it easier for third party claimants to manage the claim directly, rather than involving solicitors or claims management companies.
Faye Fishlock, Head of Motor Injury & Motor Claims Handling at DAC Beachcroft, said: “The introduction of the online portal will mean quicker, more consistent settlements. With both parties given an incentive to share details quickly, circumstances are more likely to be reported accurately. The reforms also mean that legal costs will no longer be recoverable for most whiplash claims, which could mean savings for businesses.
“In cases where the compensator disputes liability, the case can now go to a liability hearing earlier in the process, where previously this has tended to take several years.”
Corporate whiplash reform guidance from NFU Mutual Corporate Insurance and DAC Beachcroft
As soon as possible after an accident, fleet managers should send the following to their insurer:
- The driver’s detailed account of events. NFU Mutual Claims Inspectors will work with clients to prepare the witness statement
- Details of the third party in the accident, including a mobile phone number
- Details of any witnesses to the accident
- CCTV footage, or details of where your insurer can source it from
- Dash cam footage
- Tachograph data
- Photographs of the incident and surroundings taken soon after the accident
- Tracker data for geo-positioning, if fitted
- Sketch of incident, including pre-accident positions. If the event took place on a roundabout, you should show the intended route
- Details of any emergency services that attended the scene, including any reference numbers or contact details that they provided.
- If a vehicle defect or fire is believed to have been involved in the accident, you should also aim to provide:
- Vehicle service records
- Invoices for recent works
- Drivers’ last 2 week’s (prior to the accident) daily inspection records for the vehicle
For more information and guidance on the whiplash reforms, visit NFU Mutual’s dedicated webpages:
For further information please contact: