Whiplash reform is not over yet, but will part two still be fit for purpose?

Part one of the Civil Liability Act 2018 – colloquially known as the whiplash reform – finally came to fruition in May this year after a number of deadline changes, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Third time lucky, as they say.

As a result, the claims ecosystem, insurers and law firms have been grappling with the new Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal, which enables litigants in person to progress their own whiplash injury claims online. Compensation awards are based off a shiny new tariff table too, with payouts based on injury recovery times.

Alongside the FCA’s fair value focus and general insurance pricing revamp, the introduction of the OIC portal has been a huge change for the industry to get its head around.

Pile on top the ramifications of Covid-19 as well as the FCA’s pricing reform and insurance professionals operating in the motor and personal injury arena have had a lot of different balls in the air over the last year or so.

But, there’s no time to take a breath just yet.

Industry rumblings predict that part two of the whiplash reform – which will centre around credit hire and rehabilitation services – is set to be revealed early next year.

Although some commentators suggest we could see the structure and detail of part two before Christmas, it’s more likely that it will be unveiled in 2022.

The key issue on the tip of the industry’s tongue, however, is whether part two will still be fit for purpose in the post-pandemic era?

The Civil Liability Act gained Royal Assent in December 2018. The OIC portal was originally meant to go live in April 2020. All this preparatory work pre-pandemic feels a long time ago now and obviously won’t have been influenced by today’s ‘new normal’. Should plans hashed out four to five years ago still go ahead in the same format?

Some industry professionals I’ve spoken to feel the