Assessing the impact of the 17th Edition of the JCG on OIC Claims

Contact: Simon Dean


The highly anticipated 17th Edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) has begun to reach recipients. Let’s delve into the standout updates from this edition and examine their potential implications for Official Injury Claim (OIC) claims.

Key updates and changes

The obvious headline is the 22% increase in awards across most chapters, particularly those relevant to OIC claims. While the increase may seem high, the changes in the Retail Price Index (RPI) from September 2021 to August 2023 (the respective months used for the 16th and 17th editions), makes the 22% increase logical.

Noteworthy is the new section within the JCG dedicated to addressing inflation, emphasizing the need for inflationary adjustments to keep the figures current. As the 17th Edition is based on the RPI from August 2023 (376.6), referring to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website can provide the updated multiplier necessary for ensuring accuracy. However, there’s a lack of guidance on whether the award brackets would decrease if the RPI were to decline.

Implications for insurers

While the impact will be seen immediately on litigated cases, historical data suggests a gradual increase across settlements that resolve without litigation.

Simply adding 22% to current settlement averages may not fully predict future averages. Deeper analysis highlights four factors that could see non-tariff injuries rise by more than 22%:

  1. A growing backlog within the OIC portal.
  2. Increased litigation.
  3. Extended average recovery durations.
  4. Rising non-tariff elements in claims.

Each of these factors has the potential to further elevate average settlements.

Reasonable prospects of exceeding the small claims track limit

The Chapter 14 Bracket award for full recovery within 3 months now stands at £2,990. Combining this with a tariff award in the 12-15 month bracket could yield a settlement amount of £5,115. While there’s no “step back” applied to the non-tariff award, it illustrates how claimants’ solicitors might alter tactics by claiming “reasonable prospects” argument to initiate claims in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) portal rather than the OIC portal.

This raises the question of potential delays in new claim notifications as claimant solicitors evaluate injury severity in an attempt to push claims into the MOJ portal. If adopted, our analysis shows that this tactic could shift up to 20% of claims to the MOJ portal.

Tariff increase

By the end of May, we would have learnt the percentage increase in Tariff claims, with suggestions indicating a potential 22% rise similar to the JCG. Whether the same RPI method is used to calculate this increase remains uncertain. If so, the increase could be as much as 28% if we assume RPI calculation points from January 21 and January 2024, potentially rendering Tariff injuries over 18 months unsuitable for the OIC portal.

If RPI is not utilised and tariff bands increase less significantly, dissatisfaction among claimants and their representatives may arise. This could also widen the gap between tariff and non-tariff injuries, affecting step-back calculations.


It’s evident that achieving settlements within the portal may encounter initial turbulence due to the new increases. It also highlights the importance of strategies both from a valuation perspective to ensure a fair assessment of injuries but also at an opponent level to make sure you are adopting the correct tactics to achieve the best outcome possible.

Get in touch with us

If you would like to discuss any aspect in more detail or have a general discussion, please do not hesitate to contact Simon Dean, Product Manager, below. Our team at Kennedys IQ is here to support you and empower your decision-making.

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