Neil Sugarman, the President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), has said that the Government should now find out the “real reasons” for increases in motor insurance costs now that it has dropped plans to reform low value personal injury claims handling.
“When news emerged in the summer that insurers had failed to pass on savings from previous personal injury reforms to motorists, it was clear that the proposed reforms were aiming at the wrong target,” said Sugarman (pictured).
“Car insurance premiums continue to rise while costs to insurers from personal injury claims are falling. It’s now time for the Government to investigate the real reasons for rising premiums and hold the insurance industry to account.”
He said that APIL would continue to argue that any reforms to the personal injury claims process had to be based on on independent evidence, rather than insurance industry “rhetoric”.
His counterpart at the Motor Accident Solicitors’ Society (MASS), Sue Brown, said that the PI sector had to be on guard to not allow the decision to not go ahead with the reforms to interfere with work that was already under way to address some the problems within it.
“Solicitors and insurers need to work together with government to address the scourge of fraud, prosecuting identified fraudsters and cracking down on cold calling,” he said.
“We also need to improve claims management regulation, implement data sharing between Portal and IFB, and continue the work of we are doing through Medco to improve the quality of medical reporting.”
Qamar Anwar, managing director of First4Lawyers, agreed with Brown.
“There is now an opportunity for all those involved in personal injury, including the insurance sector, to start a comprehensive, open and honest dialogue about how to ensure that people who need access to justice are able to, and that claims are settled in a fair and timely manner,” he said.