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It is no secret that austerity has had a significant impact on most people’s ability to get justice, whether they have a family, contract, employment, criminal or almost any other sort of legal problem. Drivers are the latest to be hit, with legislation that is intended to target whiplash claims but will actually impact all motorists.

The Civil Liability Act very specifically targeted those injured in motor accidents. By mandating low, fixed levels of compensation for even serious soft-tissue injuries and raising the small claims court limit for road traffic accident claims, the legislation has undermined motor legal protection for all policyholders.

As the costs of pursuing a claim will no longer be recoverable for about 90% of RTA injuries, BTE motor legal expenses premiums will inevitably rise for all. Consequently, having motor legal protection will be more important the ever, and the cost should be offset by the much-trumpeted £35 saving in motor premiums that insurers have promised.

The implications for those without legal expenses insurance are obviously far more serious. Legal representation would inevitably cost far more than the value likely to be put on most RTA injuries. So, the choice will be an unenviable one, between accepting a third-party insurer’s determination or taking them (and their lawyers) on, in person.

ARAG is uniquely placed and very well-prepared for the changes. Our engagement with the legislation and huge experience in motor legal protection, which stretches back far beyond even ARAG’s presence in the UK market, has given us a very clear understanding of what we need to provide.

While the new regime is not due to be piloted until October this year, we have already updated our policy to accommodate the changes that will come into force in April 2020. We’ve even taken the opportunity to include some enhanced covers for vehicle cloning and motor prosecution defence.

The Civil Liability Act is just one reason that ARAG has joined ACSO (the Association of Consumer Support Organisations) a new body that has been launched to engage positively with policymakers, regulators, industry and the media to help ensure that the justice system functions as it should, for honest consumers.

Whether it is through active participation in wider organisations such as ACSO or taking a lead in our own specific markets, ARAG remains committed to defending access to justice in the face of whatever future challenges may emerge, while continuing to offer the very best legal protection products available today.

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