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If the pandemic has not been enough to contend with, this first year and a half of the ‘Twenties’ has seen no let-up in the legislative and regulatory uncertainty to which the personal injury and clinical negligence sector has become so accustomed.

The implementation of the Civil Liability Act’s measures to address so-called “whiplash” claims eventually came about at the end of May, after repeated postponement, but the introduction of the Official Injury Claim service (OICS) has been far from smooth.

ARAG recently celebrated 15 years in business in the UK, and two of the key strategic principles on which the company’s success has been built are its flexibility and innovation. So, it was a priority to develop products for both our law firm and insurance partners that addressed the new processes and rules, and were in place well in advance of the OICS launch, on May 31.

A few teething problems are almost inevitable with any new process, especially around the technology, but the more fundamental concerns raised by the reforms seem to remain unaddressed. Underwriting Director, David Haynes, has taken a closer look at these and passes judgment on whether the new service is fit for purpose.

While OICS is only to be used for accidents occurring in England and Wales, firms in Scotland were simultaneously preparing themselves for the adoption of another four-letter acronym already in common use south of the border, in ‘QOCS’.

The introduction of qualified one-way costs shifting in Scotland, from the end of June, called for a new approach to ATE insurance there and another new product from ARAG, which enabled a seamless shift to accommodate the new rules, as Mike Knight explains here.

While few other ATE providers will take the time and care to create robust products well in advance of changes in a specific market like this, we are driven by ARAG’s third key strategic principle, service.

Legislative changes and the uncertainty they create do not look likely to abate anytime soon.

A troubling potential development could be found nestled among the conclusions of a report from the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee on the provision of safe maternity care.

This is obviously the area of medical practice in which the greatest human and financial cost is incurred by mistakes, so any attempt to address it has to be praised.

However, the inclusion of recommendations to reduce the compensation that children and their families affected by such tragedies will receive are worrying. Mike has taken a closer look at the reforms that have been proposed and the government’s recent response.

Again, our reaction to such proposals is driven by ARAG’s overarching commitment to the principle that access to justice should be available and affordable to everyone in society, regardless of their means.

Navigating a business in such uncertain times can become very difficult. Going back to those core principles and being guided by them, has served ARAG very well in our first 15 years, and they will underpin our growing business into the future.

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.