Official Injury Claim Advisory Group Meeting: 15 December 2021, 11:30 – 13:00 – GOV.UK

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Published 14 January 2022

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Summary Minutes and Actions
The Chair welcomed attendees and outlined the agenda for the meeting.
The MoJ invited comments from members on the minutes from the October meeting.
DECISION: Minutes provisionally agreed by members, subject to all members reviewing. Minutes agreed as of 17 December 2021.
MIB provided the Group with an overview of the data published on the OIC website on 8 December covering the second quarter of service operation. A breakdown of additional data was also presented to provide the Group with further context. A helpful discussion was held in relation to:
a. The Covid-19 pandemic’s effect on driving behaviours, including on how changes in vehicle mileage trends have played out over the last year or more. For future Advisory Group discussions, it was noted that it would be helpful, as a standing agenda item, to include Department for Transport data on vehicle usage along with information on the time period between an accident and notification to the insurer.
b. Settlement figures, which the Group acknowledged were still immature and therefore not yet demonstrating accurate trends. It was suggested that there was potential for an increase in cases with liability disputes to impact future figures and that, in future publications, the availability of average settlement data could help in understanding whether there is a disparity between unrepresented and represented claimant settlement outcomes.
c. The Group remarked on the continued lack of CMC activity, which is reflected in data, and debated potential reasons for this. Members were asked for their ideas on how the data might be interrogated to better understand behaviours in this area, and where appropriate include this in their data survey return (Action Point 6).
d. Establishing whether unrepresented claimants may be receiving additional advice ‘in the background’ and if this might be having an impact on settlement figures. It is hoped that the research piece into the unrepresented claimant experience may help to uncover such behaviour and data collection on source of referral might shed some more light.
e. Research being commissioned into unrepresented claimants exiting from the service, in order to explore and understand their experience using the service. Members:
i. noted that individual outcomes may impact on their perceived satisfaction with the service;
ii. stressed the importance of speaking to claimants who have completed the process and settled, not just those who have exited for reasons other than settlement; and
iii. highlighted that unrepresented claimants’ level of awareness of the service was an important area to explore. MoJ outlined how this research will inform future work and feedback mechanisms introduced throughout users’ journey through the service.
f. Portal Support Centre (PSC) conversations and how they are likely to change with time, as claimants encounter different stages of the process; for example, queries relating to offers are likely to increase as claims progress. Members also discussed the volume of calls to the PSC in the context of volumes of unrepresented claimants using the service.
g. The medical evidence process, in particular the expectations of some claimants regarding functionality such as automated online booking of appointments, and whether this could become an integrated part of the OIC process. Feedback received at the Portal Support Centre indicated this was a view being suggested by a number of Direct Claimants who then turned to the PSC for help, when the online booking system they were expecting was not available. It was noted that many medical reporting organisations have the API technology to integrate, although some Direct Medical Experts might currently be disadvantaged. It was also noted that this would be a significant development to the service requiring detailed work to scope and prioritise.
A discrepancy between the first and second publications with regards to injury type data was noted, and MIB agreed to review this.
ACTION POINT 1: MoJ to explore whether future meetings can include data on vehicle usage/driving behaviours to aid discussion
ACTION POINT 2: MoJ/MIB to update members on when average settlement data will be included within the quarterly data publications
ACTION POINT 3: MOJ/MIB to consider adjusting data collection on whether ‘unrepresented’ claimants are being assisted in the background
ACTION POINT 4: MIB to look at injury data comparison between the first and second data publications and consider an interim publication if needed. MoJ and MIB to consider how claimants’ route to the service can be better understood, and data on that collected.
MoJ outlined how this item related to previous discussions about the Group’s access to data, and how it is presented. Prior to this meeting, a survey was circulated to members which aims to capture views on the data members consider is required for the Advisory Group to fulfil its functions. MoJ asked members to return the survey to them by 7 January 2022.
Once submissions are received, the MoJ, alongside MIB, will consider what data is needed whilst being mindful of legal, commercial, resource and public interest considerations.
ACTION POINT 6: Members to return survey to MoJ by 7 January 2022
MIB outlined the proposed research piece they are commissioning to gain a deeper understanding of the unrepresented claimant experience. This will focus on reasons for exiting the service and will be used to gain insight into how the user journey might be improved.
Members were asked for their observations or comments on the proposed approach by 7 January 2022, before it is formally commissioned. Initial discussion amongst the Group included the importance of capturing how the claimant found their way to the service, to enable a better understanding of its visibility and whether/how this can be improved.
ACTION POINT 7: Members to provide comments on the proposed research piece to MoJ by 7 January 2022
Members suggested it would be helpful to see the guidance and/or script used by PSC operators, to gain an understanding of their training. MIB and MoJ said they will consider whether this can be provided but stated that to do so must help the Advisory Group fulfil its functions, and not scrutinise MIB operational matters, as that is beyond the Group’s remit.
Members also discussed whether further measures to aid the verification of genuine claimants on the service, such as capturing IP addresses and driving licences, could be considered. This issue was also raised at the October meeting. MoJ and MIB stated that this would be considered but reminded members that OIC is not designed to be a counter-fraud system, and also that compliance with data protection laws would need to be considered. It was also pointed out that the introduction of measures that would impact usability of the service in any way would need to be justified. The MoJ is open to suggestions as to how existing OIC data could be interrogated to understand the scale of fraudulent claims.
A helpful discussion was had on the functionality of OIC, especially integration via API and the technical issues that have been encountered by both claimant and defendant professional users. MIB confirmed that they regularly engage with stakeholders on specific technical issues and that aggregate feedback from Group members would be useful. Members suggested that feedback from the different representative organisations should be added to the standing agenda of these meetings.
The role of the Advisory Group in relation to considering technical issues was clarified by the Chair: where there are systemic technical issues which affect the usability of the service then the OICAG is the right forum, but otherwise it is not the right place and technical issues should in the first instance always be raised directly with MIB.
Whilst it was acknowledged that it is a separate entity, members discussed how sight of MedCo data could be helpful in considering the operation of the service. The MoJ asked members to reflect on this in when they complete the data survey.
The Group also raised the importance of visibility of the service, especially on Google where several results are returned before the OIC service appears when searching. The MoJ will consider how this may be improved/mitigated.
ACTION POINT 8: MIB and MoJ to consider how we may share transcript of PSC
ACTION POINT 9: MoJ to consider items for standing agenda including member feedback and MedCo data
ACTION POINT 10: MIB and MoJ to consider visibility of the service on Google
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