MoJ wait expected to go on

The Ministry of Justice may not reveal its full plans for claims reform until the end of the year, a...

The Ministry of Justice may not reveal its full plans for claims reform until the end of the year, according to insurance claims managers.

In response to a question posed in the House of Commons by MP Henry Bellingham on 24 January, Bridget Prentice, Under Secretary of State for Justice, confirmed that the MoJ planned to respond to a government consultation paper by the end of March - nearly six months after a response was originally expected.

But David Fisher, Axa's liability claims technical manager, said it is wishful thinking to expect the ministry to have everything in place by then.

"On the strict wording of that answer all it is saying is that a summary of the responses and the government's next steps will be set out. If there were firm plans being developed I think we would have heard something," he added.

The MoJ received thousands of responses from all sides of the insurance industry last summer regarding the issue of claims reform.

As proposed, there is a call for fixed lawyer fees and a response time of 30 days for denying or admitting responsibility on personal injury claims.

Even if the Ministry does report its full conclusions in March, Steve Thomas technical claims manager at Zurich said it will be a while before anything is instituted.

"If they make an announcement at the back end of March you'd be pushing it to see any change by the back end of the year."

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