Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Insurer calls for a big shake-up of system

16:18 15 February 2013

Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva.

Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva.

Archant

Motor insurance premiums could be slashed by up to £60 a year by cutting out lawyers and claims management companies, according to Aviva.

shares

The Norwich-based insurer has outlined proposals for a shake-up of the way personal injury claims are handled by making claimants deal directly with the “at-fault” insurers, rather than third parties.

In a report published yesterday, Aviva said whiplash claims currently added £118 to every motor premium – while its plans would seek to strip away about £1.5bn in excess costs.

But partners at two law firms in Norwich said the move would leave claimants out of pocket because insurers would be tempted to under settle.

Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva, said: “Our figures for average compensation settlements show that dealing direct with an insurer results in at least as much compensation for the claimant and has the advantage of being quicker –meaning their treatment and rehabilitation can start almost immediately. Our focus is on their recovery and settling their claim quickly and fairly. It would also prompt a significant reduction in the costs of the current system which would benefit all UK motorists, who will begin to see a reduction in their premiums.”

As well as cutting costs, Aviva’s ‘Road to Reform’ report calls for the introduction of a “truly independent panel of medical experts” to deal with whiplash cases.

Meanwhile, its research of 400 drivers who had made a personal injury claim revealed that 33pc spent their money on medical treatment, 29pc used it to pay-off household debt, and 12pc bought luxury items like TVs.

Stephen Green, head of the personal injury and professional negligence department at Fosters Solicitors, said the Aviva report had nothing to do with lowering premiums, but was about cutting its own costs.

He said: “The insurers will be tempted to under settle whenever they can and the victim, who is neither a legal nor a medical expert, will have no idea whether the offer made is fair or not. This practice is not new. It is called ‘Third Party Capture’ – the clue is in the name and the insurers have been doing it surreptitiously for years.

“This is not about lower premiums or rehabilitation. It is about insurers reducing their costs and increasing their profits.”

Meanwhile, Colin Cook, partner at solicitors Hatch Brenner, said: “Claimants don’t always know what their loss is worth, and I have had experiences where insurers will undervalue a claim when the claimant could get a more favourable outcome by obtaining advice from a lawyer.”

shares

1 comment

  • Just another aspect of rip-off Britain.

    Report this comment

    Tony G

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

Emergency services at the scene at the multi-storey car park in Bury on November 28.

A 64-year-old woman who died after falling from a multi-storey car park in Bury St Edmunds committed suicide, an inquest has heard.

The Red Arrows perform manoeuvres at the Clacton Air Show on Friday, 22 August.

Spectators at this year’s Clacton Airshow will once again be able to watch the world famous Red Arrows.

RAF Mildenhall

A new group has been launched to evaluate ideas for future uses of the RAF Mildenhall site before presenting them to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Traffic. Library image.

A broken down lorry may cause delays for westbound traffic on the A14 this evening.

Andy and Carol Wright who have moved into the Old Chequers Inn at Friston which they are to re-open in the village.

The new landlords of a village pub in Suffolk have thanked the community for campaigning to save the building from the threat of housing.

Eloise and Keeley play on the beach at Felixstowe at the start of the Easter holidays.

The promenade at Felixstowe was busy today as families made the most of the first official day of the Easter holidays.

Labour MP Caroline Flint and Labour candidate David Ellesmere head out door knocking around the Prince of Wales Drive area of Ipswich.

One of the best-known shadow cabinet ministers has visited Ipswich to give Labour’s David Ellesmere a boost on the first day of the official campaign.

Brave Hope Puttock, who was born with Downs Syndrome and underwent open heart surgery when just five-months old, is celebrating her eighth birthday with a party at Play2Day.

There were smiles all round as a brave Suffolk eight-year-old celebrated her birthday in style.

Cash and jewellery taken during Colchester break-in

Cash and valuable jewellery were stolen during a burglary in Colchester.

Sudbury railway station

A man followed a female dog-walker and then exposed himself to her in Great Cornard.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages