The government has claimed that the insurance industry are willing to end the practice of making accident victims settlement offers without medical examination, as they continue their campaign to drive down the number of fraudulent claims being made year upon year.
But there is still disagreement between the insurers and the personal injury sector over access to fraud data.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) addressed the issue, raised in regards to bringing an end to the policy of pre-med offers, and admitted that it was an idea they liked although they went on to stress their concerns about the difficulty in enforcing a ruling over it.
They were also forced to answer criticism from the Chair of the Transport Select Committee, MP Louise Ellman over vague or lack of response the government gave over other areas of concern raised by their inquiry into whiplash.
In the second response they have given the MoJ stated: “MoJ officials are currently arranging meeting with the relevant stakeholders to discuss the options and the early indications from the ABI (Association of British Insurers) indicate there is a willingness on the part of insurers to end this practice. However, further work needs to be done with the stakeholders and their regulators to ensure the action is effective.”
Insurers have been heavily criticised over the past year or so by the personal injury sector for their policy of making offers to accident victims before they have even been to see a medical expert for diagnosis.
The reasons these offers are made are to drive down the cost of settlement payouts from insurers, as it has also been revealed that cases that are launched with the support of full legal representation through the courts tend to produce an offer or settlement of more than four times the amount of the insurers pre-med offer.
There MoJ also referred to the commitment by the insurance industry in terms of the passing on of savings made as a result of the referral fee ban and the cost reductions.
They said: “This is an area we need to do further work on to ensure we have an adequate baseline of effective data with which to work. The government will continue to monitor the publicly available sources of data – such as regular reports on motor insurance premiums published by the AA and confused.com.
“Other financial performance reports and profits data, details of any refunds from the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) levy etc… will also be considered and we will also continue to challenge the industry for the evidence of savings being passed on to consumers on a regular basis.”
It has been revealed that since the cuts and the referral fee ban the number of road traffic accident claims involving whiplash has decreased so it remains to be seen whether the insurers will stand by their word and introduce substantial decreases to people’s insurance premiums over the coming months.
1. Public Domain Pictures; George Hodan; http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=164025&picture=doctor