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Whiplash reforms

Everything you need to know about the whiplash reform programme

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What are the reforms?


The ‘reforms’ refer to the changes, introduced by the government, to low value personal injury claims caused by road traffic accidents.

The Ministry of Justice have instructed the Motor Insurance Bureau to create a self service portal that the public can use to submit their personal injury claims if they are under £5,000 in value for the injury part of their claim and under £10,000 overall.

When do the reforms come into place?


The reforms came into place on May 31st 2021. Whether or not your claim falls under the new reforms depends on the date of your accident. Only if your accident happened on or after May 31st 2021 will your claim fall under the new reforms.

What are the major changes that affect me?


There are a lot of major and minor changes but we think these are the headline areas effecting the consumer;

  • The introduction of fixed tariffs which are much lower than the current average. E.g. £240 for 0-3 month whiplash compared to the pre-reform £1,500 average.
  • A new online system produced by the Motor Insurance Bureau so claimants can register their claim and represent themselves if they want to do so.
  • Unrepresented claimants will need to pay the £180 cost of a medical report up front if the insurers do not admit liability for the accident.
  • If liability is disputed an unrepresented claimant would need to wait until they have won an admission of liability at court before being able to moved forward with a medical report. Due to the effect of Covid-19 the current wait time for a personal injury case in court is 51* weeks. (*based on civil-justice-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2020).

What does OIC stand for?


The OIC stands for Official Injury Claims which is the service created by the MIB to support the new reforms.  Learn more about the different terms used in a personal injury claim here.

Do I need legal representation?


If your claim falls under the small claims umbrella you can represent yourself and use the MIB’s claimant portal to submit your claim. However, there are a number of reasons why you might benefit from legal representation and the support and advice that comes from using a law firm including understanding what you can claim for and navigating negotiations with insurers.

What will my claim journey look like?


There are some key differences in how your claim journey might differ after May 31st view our claim timeline here  to see the key milestones of a post reforms claim.

What is included under the new reforms?

  • The accident happened on or after the 31st May
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • The accident happened in England or Wales and the driver at fault had a UK registration plate
  • Personal injury claim up to £5,000
  • The total value of your claim (inc the personal injury claim) is not more than £10,000
  • You were inside a vehicle and you believe someone else was in full or partly responsible for the accident
  • You have the vehicle details of the at fault driver

Which type of claims are not affected by the reforms?

  • All accidents before 31st May 2021
  • Non-road accidents (e.g. accidents at work or in a public place)
  • Claims on behalf of someone who has died
  • Claims against a foreign vehicle
  • Claims not for whiplash by children or protected parties
  • Claims for motor cyclists, pillion/sidecar passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders, people in mobility scooters, undischarged bankrupts, personal representative of a deceased person)