The car insurers’ campaign to avoid paying proper personal injury compensation has moved up a gear with new proposals to deprive thousands of accident victims of any choice in their medical care or the right to legal representation.

AVIVA has unveiled a plan to provide ‘rehabilitation only’ compensation that they would arrange for motorists they deem to have suffered only ‘minor, short term’ injuries.

And the insurance giant has also called for motorists with claims likely to be valued at below £5,000 to be barred from access to legal representation, increasing the limit from £1,000.

AVIVA claims the measures would reduce premiums but has persistently refused to disclose their trading profits from the UK car insurance market – despite questions in Parliament and the issue being referred to regulators.

Thompsons estimates that UK motorists has generated profits of £2 billion for car insurers and is calling for effective regulation of the market to protect consumers.

“The relentless drive to increase profit at the expense of access to justice and with no regard to fairness - driving everything into the hands of the insurers - is as breath-taking as it is blatant,” said Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors. “Why should motorists trust anything AVIVA say when they refuse to disclose their profits?

“These latest proposals would put the car insurers in the driving seat with the injured motorist tied up in the boot. The idea that they have injured people’s interests at heart when they have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible is laughable.

“They portray themselves as the motorists’ friend but the reality is that they want to boost profits and pay outs to shareholders and avoid the 'inconvenience' of paying proper compensation that has been independently verified.”