Blame in the time of high legal costs

Industry news roundup: week ended 2 Sept 2013:

The war rages on between the insurance industry and the personal injury claims sector, with finger-pointing and recriminations dominating as usual.

The so-called ‘compensation culture’ that’s gripping the UK is apparently because there are too many personal injury solicitors looking to line their pockets with our hard-earned money, according to the insurance industry – and the Government seems to be choosing sides. Who can forget the ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ slogan that David Cameron trotted out once the Coalition moved in and set up residence?

Well the Government has been doing its best to meddle with the personal injury compensation industry, including pushing through reforms that are supposedly going to make it less expensive for insurers to defend injury claims and will allow these companies to pass on the savings to customers. Only some of these measures have gone into effect but insurers are already gambling that their costs will decrease, and a price war has started between competitors fighting over every single last customer they can claim.

The thing is, there’s no indications that motor insurance is actually going to be profitable this year even with these new changes. Industry experts said recently that it would take a miracle to get the sector back on track – something it hasn’t been in nearly twenty years – and if you ask me this is going to lead to a backlash that will drive prices back up into the stratosphere once these insurers realise their efforts are not netting them the types of cash they need to keep their businesses open and operating successfully.

Of course this isn’t the only aborted attempt on the Government to give personal injury lawyers a hard time. Just recently the Law Society had to weather a hearing to see if an advert campaign it ran this summer had been in breach of any rules or regulations.

The ‘Don’t Get Mugged’ campaign was deemed to actually not be such a terrible thing after all, according to the Advertising Standards Authority, despite the fact that quite a few people lodged complaints.

The advert wasn’t even all that bad, if you ask me – it simply compared using an insurer’s third party capture offer was tantamount to being robbed blind in the aftermath of an accident. Instead, the advert encouraged accident victims to find a qualified injury solicitor instead – something that I’m sure angered the insurance company and its cronies in the Government.

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