Our Chief Legal Officer, Alan Hayes and our Chief Information Officer, Karen Campbell speak with Modern Insurance Magazine about the OICP
14 April 2023
How the OIC Portal came about?
The Portal was introduced in May 2021 on the back of the Whiplash reforms, which were originally intended to reduce fraudulent, exaggerated and low value injury claims with the consequent savings passed onto consumers.
The claims were, optimistically, expected to be easy to run - meaning that individuals (Litigants in Person) would run their own claims, so a ‘do it yourself’ portal (OICP) was developed.
The Claimant industry was vocal from the outset that the uptake of LiP’s would be marginal and the portal should be developed with both LiP’s and professional users in mind.
How did we overcome OICP pro-user function not working?
The manual portal for LiP’s has generally worked adequately, if not well. However, the vast majority of claims are run by pro-users whom have faced a mountain of challenges and close to 30 releases within the first 18 months.
Carpenters Group invested in a dedicated team and spent significant time planning before any development started but like all other pro-users, started on the back foot.
We have had to build many work-arounds due to technical issues with the portal, some of which have since been corrected, other yet to do so.
A process that should take seconds A2A can take 40 minutes manually. This brings into question the sustainability of an operating model without A2A. There are a small number of firms who have made progress with A2A, but unfortunately there are a greater number who have been unable to make it work, had to give up, and exited the sector.
How is it performing now?
We have engaged with the MIB from the outset and at times have found that we have raised issues before other firms, or indeed the MIB, were aware of them. The MIB have become more collaborative in accepting the existence of, and resolving problems.
Our dialogue with the OIC team at the MIB has improved, which has allowed Carpenters to have more open discussion about their platform and to provide feedback on new releases and issues with the core functionality.
Over the last 12 months we have seen steady but much needed improvement with the performance of OICP and A2A solution, although there is more to be done. We are however concerned that the MIB’s roll outs are being moved to bi-annual releases and there is no cross industry control group to police the changes made within the portal.
What improvements still need to implemented?
The OICP need to view their A2A solution and their LiP Portal solution as two separate products. Although technically they can/will both capture the same information, how each product communicates internally is an area of improvement/change.
One other area for improvement is Error handling for pro-users. Whilst we have an IT team who can respond to this, we are still seeing errors on the OICP years down the line.
Alan Hayes, Chief Legal Officer and Karen Campbell, Chief Information Officer