One of my regular themes this year has been the complaints by and on behalf of the motor insurance industry that there are too many accidents and that this is putting up the cost of our insurance premiums. They regularly blame victims for pursuing claims against offending drivers saying that it is their fault. They would have us believe that if we could be stopped from claiming damages then our insurance would go down.
This ignores the conduct of insurers themselves and the role they have played in inflating the cost of claims. The industry has now been referred to the Competition Commission by the OFT. This is due to their practice of controlling repair and hire charges, thus increasing the cost. It is estimated that this could be adding up to £225m a year to the cost of insurance -
According to the BBC, car hire was on average £560 more expensive each time than it needed to be. Each repair was on average £155 more expensive.
Many insurers receive referral fees from hirers and repairers.
It is fair to say that tough action is needed in relation to motors claims. But the media loves to criticise the victims for seeking damages when they are least to blame. There are plans to restrict the right to pursue claims because of a mythical compensation culture. It is really the insurance companies themselves who are making huge profits on the back of claims and then charging high premiums into the bargain.
I would challenge them to guarantee a rebate on premiums if the proposed cuts reduce the number of claims.
I would also support a ban on the sending of text messages and emails to encourage claims. I get about one text a week telling me to bring a claim. Some even me tell how much I will get for an injury that never happened!