The UK’s top car insurance companies have come under fire for multi-million pound remuneration packages to their chief executives whilst the driving public face ever increasing premiums. This comes as the government announces a package of reforms that will see insurance companies’ profits rise even further and accident victims denied justice.

Campaigning law firm Thompsons Solicitors investigated the remuneration of the CEOs of the top three insurers and found that their salaries, benefits, bonuses and dividends gave them earnings in 2015 ranging from £4.82m to £37.82 million.

The total packages for the CEOs of three of the biggest car insurance companies in 2015 were:

  • Direct Line’s Paul Geddes: £4.82m
  • AVIVA’s Mark Wilson: £5.67m (more than double the package received in 2014)
  • Admiral’s Henry Engelhardt: £37.82m

Tom Jones, Head of Policy at Thompsons Solicitors said: “Families up and down the UK facing ever increasing motor insurance premiums will be rightly appalled at the money these CEO’s are getting. No doubt the CEO’s will justify their £multimillion reward packages to their shareholders on the basis that profits are good and dividends are good but that’s no comfort to the driving public whose premiums are up on average 8.1% on last year. Huge profits and dividends may make shareholders happy but they are a slap in the face for those who are, as the Prime Minister said, ‘just managing’.

“At the same time as their CEOs are being paid these bloated packages, the insurance industry has made spurious and unsubstantiated claims to bully the government into rolling over and agreeing changes in the small claims limit that will leave those injured on the roads and at work without access to justice.

“It is hardly surprising that Mark Wilson of AVIVA was the first CEO out of the block welcoming the government’s proposals on whiplash reforms. He has repeatedly pointed the finger of blame for rising premiums not on his rising salary but on a ‘fraud pandemic’ for which there is no independent evidence and which no insurer has seen fit to report to the Stock Market as a concern. His own remuneration package more than doubled in 2015, increasing by over £2million in a year.

“If these CEO’s aren’t the ‘privileged few’ whose interests Theresa May said in her first speech as Prime Minister her government would not be driven by I don’t know who is?

"The audacity of those receiving eye-watering rewards packages to lobby for changes to the small claims limit that will only mean more profit for them and leave injured motorists and employees out in the cold is staggering.

“Theresa May talked of fairness on the steps of Downing Street and yet here we have her government working hand in glove to line the pockets of fat cat insurers that are already ripping off motorists and awarding their CEOs eye-watering financial packages.”