Insurers Blame Accident Claims for Rising Cost of Premiums; Solicitors React
The UK motor insurance industry is seeking to blame increasingly expensive insurance premiums on a rise in accident claims, but it’s a correlation many solicitors refuse to accept.
Richard Powell, partner and personal injury solicitor with Manchester law firm JMW , explains: “My understanding is that the number of road accident claims being made is not rising to that extent at all.”
According to a report published by Deloitte, UK car insurance providers suffered collective losses of over £2 billion in 2010. Almost all the insurers surveyed suggested that these huge losses were largely a result of no win, no fee accident claims payouts.
“In my experience, insurers are too quick to point to an increasing volume of claims being made as the reason why they have to raise premiums” continues Richard Powell. “They say this is down to ‘ambulance chasing’ injury lawyers, clearly implying that it is the lawyers who create extra claims and drive up cost. The reality is that huge numbers of people who suffer an injury for which they could claim compensation still don’t make a claim. All lawyers do is to advertise their services, make the public aware of their rights, and then it is down to individuals to decide to make their claim. The insurers seem to be saying that ideally the public should not be told of their possible right to claim compensation.
“I would like insurers to show figures that justify price increases, which I have heard to be 29.9% over the last year.
“It’s often the case that people just accept their renewal quote although shopping around can actually yield surprising savings, suggesting that price rises are not actually as inevitable as the insurers would have consumers believe. Consumers should ask whether current price rises are opportunistic.Motor insurers have reported that they have made losses for a number of years, and so this raises questions about how they have run their finances for quite some time. It does not suggest that there has been some specific shift in recent claims activity. The extent of the price rises may suggest a wish to claw back long terms losses in a short period, but using lawyers as a convenient scapegoat.
“Anyone considering making an accident claim shouldn’t be discouraged by these reports. If you have been injured or your property has been damaged by another driver, financial compensation is your legal right.”
JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients. The firm regularly helps the victims of negligent road users make accident claims for financial compensation, covering the cost of hospital bills and repairs to their vehicle. For more information visit: http://www.jmw.co.uk/ or phone 0800 054 6570.
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