The figures have been released by the Portal Company for the numbers of Claims Notification Forms ("CNFs") submitted in October 2020 for England and Wales. The figures showed a relatively stable number of claims across the Motor, EL and PL portals when compared to September.
These figures detail the final month before the institution of the nationwide restrictions in England from 5 November 2020, and the ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales in place from 23 October 2020.
The tables below show the comparison between both October 2020 and the month prior (September 2020), and also a comparison to October 2019. As noted above, the month-to-month figures remain steady, and the year-on-year change is consistent a similar comparison last month.
As can be seen from the graphs below, the return to claims numbers approaching those of last year has continued at a slower rate in the past three months, when compared to the sharp rise between May and July of this year.
What can we expect to see?
- Based on the behaviours seen during the initial nationwide lockdown, the reintroduction of the most severe measures in November across England would suggest a dramatic drop off of CNFs entered into the portal will be seen in next month’s figures. However, it is possible that some of the behaviours that occurred during the initial lockdown - possible claimant reluctance to bring a claim for instance - may not have occurred again.
- It is expected that there may be an agreement on permissible Christmas travel between select household bubbles. This may increase travel on the roads during the Christmas period, and could lead to an increase in collisions, especially if the weather results in dangerous conditions.
- The Ministry of Justice has recently reiterated its expectation that the Official Injury Claims Portal and associated whiplash reforms will be introduced in April 2021 as planned. As we have highlighted previously, there remains the possibility that these changes may prompt a surge in claims in the months preceding April 2021, as claimants and their representatives seek to obtain the more generous damages and costs. Whether the pandemic has affected this will become clear in the months to come.