The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has responded to the campaign unveiled by The Law Society this week titled “Don’t Get Mugged“, which is in reference to personal injury claimants being sold down the river by early offers made to them by their insurance companies.
Nick Starling, director of general insurance at the ABI has said: “(The) compensation system is riddled with high legal costs and ambulance chasing lawyers fueling the ‘have a go’ attitude to claiming compensation it is the legal community that are doing the mugging, not the insurers. And it is the insurance-paying public that is paying the price through higher premiums as a result of excessive legal fees and frivolous and dishonest personal injury claims.
“The government agrees with us, which is why their recently introduced reforms to the personal injury compensation system will ensure that genuine claimants get fair compensation as quickly as possible at proportionate cost. A campaign to ensure our compensation system is fit for purpose would serve the public much more than the one promoting solicitors.”
The campaign is certainly bold and is expected to gather speed over the coming weeks. The aim is to encourage claimants to pursue their claims further rather than taking the insurers early offer, as it was revealed by research from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that personal injury claimants who accept these offers are often deprived of the true level of compensation and on average receive three times less the figure they are entitled to.
This is worrying as to the victim of personal injury compensation is vitally important and it is not a case of wanting the money but needing it to aid their full recovery.
In recent weeks it has become ever clear just where the insurance industry’s priorities lie, and this is not with the genuine claimant or the insurance purchasing consumer. This is after shocking revelations of interrogations and refusals to payout were made by the BBC’s Watchdog programme and figures, unveiled by the Financial Ombudsman, recorded a 7% rise in complaints about motor insurance over the past year.
This campaign is solely the legal industry hitting back and doing all they can to avoid the genuine personal injury victim being left significantly out of pocket.
Also, according to recent figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), whiplash claims for compensation have also dropped by 11% on the previous year. So the real question we are sure the ‘insurance paying-public’ would love to know the answer to, regarding the reduction of claims influencing premium costs, has to be why have decreases not already been made to the amount we pay for our policies and how can we trust that this will be the case if claims drop next year?