Thompsons' response to the ABI’s report 'Care and Compensation'

The insurance industry is using scare tactics dressed up as consumer concern, leading personal injury claimant firm Thompsons says in response to the ABI’s report 'Care and Compensation'.

Thompsons Partner Tom Jones, interviewed on the BBC’s 'Business Breakfast' programme this morning,  said that the latest proposal by the Association of British Insurers for a system of arbitration for claims worth less than £25,000 to replace the current court system was motivated by profits and not the interests of injured people.

He challenged Stephen Haddrill of the ABI to substantiate the claims of soaring legal costs.

“This is not about fairness. This is yet another ruse by the insurers to try to spread panic about society’s ability to support the innocent victims of injury, when it’s actually about the insurance industry wanting to avoid paying out to protect its profits.

Insurers often dither and delay when faced with a claim

“The British court system prevents solicitors running up enormous bills.  If however the ABI are genuinely concerned about speeding up claims, as indicated by Mr Haddrill on the BBC this morning, then this could be done if insurers simply followed the current protocols, which set out clear time limits and rules, and responded to claims more quickly.

“At present insurers dither and delay when faced with a claim, often not responding to the claimant’s solicitors until court proceedings are issued. They should put their own house in order before yet again trying to change a system, which includes clear guidelines on the damages that types of injury attract, that would work well if it were used properly.”

Thompsons says that preventing injured people having legal representation would deny them their right to access to justice and would leave them vulnerable to insurers under-settling their claims.

“A claim worth up to £25,000 represents a serious injury or disease caused by the negligence of another person. It cannot be left to an arbitration system to decide whether the claimant is being offered the correct amount. Even a claim worth under £5,000 is a significant sum to someone whose life has been seriously affected by injury.