Investigation into Car Insurance will Impact more than Driver Premiums
Ridiculous quotes for road protection could become diluted if a new investigation into the car insurance market confirms evidence of industry-wide malpractice. The inquiry could also shine a light on personal injury – freeing claimants from the blame for exorbitant premiums.
The Office of Fair Trading’s summer report on motor insurance described the sector as ‘dysfunctional’ and soon after, the OFT referred the industry to the Competition Commission for a full investigation. It will take some time for that enquiry to directly reduce the average quote but for road accident victims and personal injury solicitors, it may provide a separate form of justice in the meantime:
For some, the insurers have got away with blaming inexplicable prices on allegedly bogus whiplash claims and fraudulent cases of personal injury. Now certain insurers have been exposed to be profiteering from a cluster of ‘questionable’ practices*, those accident claimants who were once branded as the root cause behind the swelling price of road cover, will be liberated of their mistaken reputation.
Perhaps more importantly, those pursuing car or motorcycle accident compensation in the future may no longer be automatically viewed as fraudsters until it’s proven otherwise.
Is this the beginning of the end for ‘Backhander Britain’?
The OFT report peeked behind the curtain of the so called compensation culture put up by the insurance industry and here are just a handful of surprises about replacement vehicles that were on the other side:
- Following a car accident, an insurer of the innocent party may have referred the driver to a car hire organisation which rents out vehicles at a more expensive rate, in exchange for a referral fee of up to £400 every time.
- Innocent roadsters were found to be loaned courtesy cars for unnecessarily long periods of time, meaning the insurer of the guilty party would be forced to pay more to cover the cost .
- A similar scheme was in place involving mechanics and garages; some insurers were giving their contacts the go ahead to charge more for repairs to their customer’s damaged vehicles. This again meant that the insurer of the guilty driver in the crash paid out more to cover the price of repairs.
This trio alone raises suspicion about the severity of the backhander culture in the insurance market. Hopefully, in the years it will take for the Competition Commission to catalyse the industry’s reform, we will see this type of unprofessional behaviour fade out completely.
Fighting for innocent car crash victims…
John Spencer, an accident claims solicitor with over 27 years of experience, has been campaigning to uphold the reputation of genuine accident victims throughout the majority of his career. He openly welcomed the OFT report in his blog but it won’t be until the Competition Commission cracks down on inappropriate practices, that professional figures like Spencer will consider the reform officially underway.
If you’ve been harmed on the roads and want to run through the validity of your car accident compensation claim, don’t automatically consider yourself as some sort of cheat-contributor to the rising price of insurance. It is your right to put forward your case in the name of fairness. In any event it looks as though claimants have not been affecting quote-inflation as much as we’ve all been led to believe. So, work with an experienced PI solicitor who understands the system and gets you the justice you deserve.