2022 was an eventful year indeed, starting with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Closer to home, the UK saw three prime ministers in three months, a 59-page report into the so-called ‘partygate scandal’ and a spiralling cost of living crisis. Against this background, we highlight some key legal and regulatory developments which insurers and corporates should consider as they plan for operational resilience.
For many countries, 2022 promised to be a year of lifted lockdowns and the reopening of the travel sector. Whilst this has been the case, the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt for some time. The UK and Scottish COVID-19 public inquiries commenced into the UK and Scottish Governments’ handling of and response to the pandemic. These inquiries will likely continue for many years to come.
Looking ahead, for many employers in 2023, attracting and retaining employees, hybrid working arrangements, health and safety issues, and mental and physical health will be top concerns.
In turn, insurers could find themselves facing an uptick in personal injury claims should their customers fail to adapt to changing workplace risks.
Turning to civil justice reforms, the topic of legal costs will feature throughout 2023. The Civil Justice Council’s outstanding report on its holistic costs review is expected, together with the introduction of fixed recoverable costs for most civil cases up to £100,000 in value. We also await changes to the current Qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) regime for claims issued on or after 6 April and the Ministry of Justice’s call for evidence on dual or multiple discount rates in England and Wales, which runs until 11 April 2023, will be of particular interest to those in the high value personal injury space.
The report examines the risks related to these key trends, including the relevant regulatory and legislative developments to watch.
In 2023, the average cost of a personal injury claim is likely to increase, driven by a plethora of factors including rising inflation, advances in technology, increasing wages and labour shortages – to name a few.
Without adequate allowance for the impact of claims inflation, insurers will potentially be exposed to inadequate reserves and additional challenges when adjusting claims, including under-insurance, gaps in cover and the development of unexpected or unanticipated claims.
The ‘S’ in ESG moves to the foreground
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) related issues are rising up the boardroom agenda, with a particular focus on employee wellbeing.
Looking to the year ahead, employers will be considering how best to retain and attract talent, to include placing a greater emphasis on promoting a healthy work environment to benefit their employees, the business and UK economy.
Civil justice reform
At the Civil Justice Council 11th National Forum, Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls and Lord Bellamy KC, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, set out the Civil Justice Council and Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) ongoing projects and priority areas; providing an indication as to the likely civil justice developments in the pipeline for 2023 onwards.
These topics will continue to inform consultations with stakeholders leading to Civil Procedure Rule changes and legislative developments in 2023 and beyond.
Regulatory and legislative developments to watch include the Online Safety Bill; Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill; Protect Duty; Freedom of Information Reform in Scotland; and the Transport Bill.
Insurance forecast 2023: claims trends and future risks
Drawing on our experience across multiple business lines, we explore some of the key trends that we anticipate will shape the insurance agenda for 2023 and beyond.Go to report