Fleet News

Claims boom could see premiums soar

ROCKETING personal injury claims will push insurance premiums for fleets through the roof unless the Government intervenes to stop ‘ambulance-chasing’ lawyers, a leading fleet claims specialist alleged.

Analysis of the growing compensation culture in the UK has discovered that personal injury claims from car accidents have risen 1,000% in four years, as law firms offer US-style ‘no-win, no-fee’ policies.

The survey, by WNS Assistance, an insurance claims management specialist that handles 200,000 motor claims a year on behalf of insurers, brokers and large commercial fleets, is predicting that the UK will soon reach a rate of one personal injury claim for every 100 accidents.

Tim Rankin, managing director of WNS Assistance, said: ‘One claim in every 100 motor accidents may not sound such a high number, but when you consider the rate was one for every 2,000 motor accidents just a few years ago, you can appreciate how fast the so-called compensation culture is transforming our society.

‘What this means for both large commercial fleets and private motorists is that, with insurance companies having to pay out more and more in personal injury claims, motor insurance premiums are bound to be adversely affected for everyone in the long term.’

Last week, the Government announced it intended to crack down on ‘ambulance chasers’. Constitutional Affairs Secretary Lord Falconer said: ‘If you have a genuine claim – where someone else is to blame – you should be able to get compensation from those at fault.

‘But there is not always someone else to blame. Genuine accidents do happen. People should not be encouraged to always ‘have a go’ however meritless the claim.’

The Government is to set up a task force to combat the problem and wants to impose regulations where claims management companies are expected to take action to ensure they do not raise expectations falsely through misleading advertising and sales practices.

They are also expected to be more upfront about their processes and fees, with better quality control and speedier conclusion of claims.

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