Out of COVID-19 lockdown and into new territory? QOCS is still coming to Scotland…

By Scottish Ministerial order, Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (QOCS) is to apply to Scottish personal injury claims – including disease claims and fatality claims – litigated from 30 June 2021. To recap, QOCS is a departure from the usual ‘loser pays’ approach to legal costs and expenses. The guiding principles of QOCS are (i) promoting access to justice in these types of case by generally protecting losing pursuers (hence ‘one way’) from having to meet successful defenders’ costs and (ii) at the same time enabling the removal of that protection in limited specific circumstances (hence ‘qualified’).

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From business interruption to GI pricing…

Attending (virtually) the ABI annual conference early this week I had the distinct impression of  an industry that is ready to move on from the BII test litigation which has dominated debate in the sector for the last nine or so months. ABI Chair & Allianz CEO Jon Dye said that the lessons to be learned from the case were in the need for clarity on policy wordings and in managing customer expectation. But in one sense the spotlight still shines on BII, as illustrated by the call from the FCA for relevant claims now to be paid promptly and in its letter this week setting out very clear expectations of intermediaries involved in the claims process.

Following immediately after BII, the next regulatory tsunami hitting the industry will be the FCA’s remedies package on general insurance pricing. The pricing review was – rightly – among Jon Dye’s three key strategic priorities for the industry this year (the others being the climate challenge and the review of Solvency II). The final GI pricing review consultation closed on 25 January and a policy statement is due from the FCA in Q2 2021, i.e. in the coming weeks or months. Implementation of the final package of remedies will shake up ‘price walking’ once and for all, with tangible long-term effects on business models across all distribution channels.

Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com

Data on ‘healthy life expectancy’ warrants a review of how we quantify high value injury claims

On 15 January 2021, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published the outcome of its inquiry into the issue of healthy ageing. The inquiry was first commissioned following recognition that, whilst lifespans in the UK have increased in recent times, the period for which people remain healthy has not kept pace. The result is an increased duration of ill health in later life, which then places an increased burden on public health services, not to mention the effect on individuals’ wellbeing.

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