Bodily injury, property damage, collision severity and other measures of auto liability claims increased in 2022, according to the 2023 U.S Auto Insurance Trends Report recently published by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions.

Specific measures for 2022 auto liability claims are as follows:

  • More than a quarter (27 percent) of collision claims in the first nine months of 2022 were categorized as total losses.
  • Property damage severity increased by 8.5 percent.
  • Collision severity climbed by 9 percent over 2021.
  • Bodily injury severity grew by 8 to 10 percent.

Speeding violations surged more than 20 percent above 2019 pre-pandemic rates. The National Safety Council reports that speeding was a factor in 29 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2021. Speeding gives the driver of the vehicle less time to respond to road conditions, challenges the driver with a shorter stopping distance, and minimizes the ability of road safety systems—like guardrails and median barriers—to absorb the impact.

Auto Liability Claims for Insurance Defense and Panel Counsel Law FirmsDriving under the influence (DUI) infractions increased in 2022. Substance-influenced driving could relate to alcohol, cannabis, prescription drug abuse, and other forms of illegal drug usage.

If that isn’t enough, add in distracted driving due to cell phone usage and in-car navigation or other computer systems. Any in-auto factors that cause the driver to take their eyes off the road can contribute to an accident.

On a related note, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that overall fatalities decreased very slightly in 2022 over previous year. Nevertheless, the NHTSA states, ““We continue to face a national crisis of traffic deaths on our roadways …”

The LexisNexis report also covers the likelihood of an insured to switch auto carriers after they have experienced an accident and filed a claim. The way that the claim is handled, in terms of timing, communications, and dollar value, all influence customer satisfaction rates for the insured.

Implications for Auto Claims Liability Panel Counsel Law Firms

Panel counsel law firms that handle auto claims liability matters are likely to maintain an increase in files, combined with a growth in the severity and dollar value of the claim. Given the importance of claim resolution in the insured’s satisfaction level, carriers are likely to continue pressing panel counsel law firms to settle claims in a timely manner.

Law firms with an internal metrics system that enables them to track basic case statistics like the average time to close a case and the average legal spend on a case will gain a competitive edge as carriers prioritize the business aspects of litigation management. Given the high volume of auto claims liability files and the ability to categorize them by factors like property damage, bodily injury, and legal spend, law firms have a strong data set to use in modeling their case file metrics.

Auto claims attorneys who want to start or expand their metrics efforts can talk to their carrier clients to gain insight on how to measure results and what to measure. The irony here is that the carriers often already have metrics on a law firm’s performance, even if the law firm itself doesn’t.

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2023 U.S Auto Insurance Trends Report by LexisNexis

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Contact Margaret Grisdela, an insurance defense marketing consultant, at 1-561-266-1030 or via email. Connect with Margaret Grisdela on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer

This article is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be interpreted as legal advice or an opinion in regard to any topic discussed. The article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Every situation is different and circumstances vary widely depending on the governing state law, policy provisions, and related considerations.