Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors has today (26 May 2016) commented on the government’s response to the Insurance Fraud Taskforce report: “Well blow me down with a feather! Government accepts everything insurance-dominated Taskforce tells them. This is the same Taskforce that immediately accepted the government's small claims proposal, even though it wasn't even suggested when they were first set up.

"One look at the written statement today and the government is again parroting any old line from the insurance industry without question. The recommendations are entirely unsubstantiated. The ‘fraud’ figures they quote are not independently verified and their sources are not transparently reported.

“The Taskforce Report says fraud is rampant and is costing the UK £3bn (£1bn up on the last time the government mentioned it), yet no UK insurer declared fraud as a 'material risk' when they reported to the stock market for the last year. Insurers are telling the markets that business is booming, while telling the government to raise the small claims limit to ‘stamp out fraud’.

“If you look at the publicly available government and insurance industry data what you actually find is that insurers have saved an aggregate of £6.68bn over the last 5 years. Despite these huge savings made by insurers, the average premium for consumers has continued to go up - by 14% in the past year alone.

“Insurance companies are massaging the numbers to suit their own ends. Profits and dividends would not continue to rise if fraud was as prevalent as insurers claim.

“The Taskforce Report is nothing more than pro-insurance propaganda that supports the industry’s financial motives and the government has bought it hook line and sinker.

“The push to remove the right to free legal representation for road accident victims by raising the small claims limit will only benefit the insurers: their profits will sky-rocket because they’ll have free rein to pay out the minimum compensation to consumers, who will be stripped of access to legal experts to advise them on what they should fairly get for their claim.”