Insurance brokers urged to join Access to Justice whiplash campaign

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The Access to Justice lobby group has asked BIBA, the brokers’ trade association, to support its campaign to amend the soft tissue injury claims system in order to stop Government reforms to personal injury claims, which it says will boost the claims farming industry.

The lobby group has said that UK insurance brokers are responsible for £325 million of all claims management company (CMC) turnover during the last ten years, according to insurance industry figures analysed by Access to Justice (A2J).

A2J spokesperson Andrew Twambley said that according to Aviva’s 2014 Road to Reform report, 13% of all personal injury claims are referred to CMCs by brokers, equating to £325 million out of a total of £2.8 billion.

“Brokers share responsibility with insurers for helping to create the claims farming industry,” he said.

“We need the industry’s insurers and brokers to help to improve the claims process, without the need for legislation. Asking the Government to step in with yet more new law risks unintended consequences.”

Twambley warned that Government plans to reform low value PI claims would result in claims farmers and claims management companies “rubbing their hands in glee”, as it was likely that they would step into the vacuum left by legal professionals exiting the market if the reforms became law.

“We call on BIBA, the trade association for insurance brokers, to support our Alternative Claims Framework (ACF), which shares similar aims to BIBA, such as quickly implementing the recommendations of both the Insurance Fraud Taskforce report and the Brady report.”

Twambley also noted that BIBA supported A2J’s recommendation that the claims notification period be reduced to 12 months.

“We would welcome support for our alternative approach from the UK’s broking sector. Under the current Government proposals, up to 600,000 people will be denied access to justice every year, and nobody believes that insurers will hand back £35 in savings through lower premiums.”

“The insurance industry created the claims farming problem, and the insurance industry should take responsibility for putting it right – we urge brokers to join our campaign to make sure customers’ historic rights of redress are protected,” he added.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk