Bumper pickings for lawyers in car crash injury claims

Drivers could save up to £1.5 billion if claims management companies and personal injury lawyers were removed from the car insurance claims process, says leading insurer Aviva.

Figures from the firm suggest whiplash claims add £118 to the cost of every driver’s policy, and the vast majority (94%) of motorists blame the middle men for increasing insurance costs.

The insurer has launched the special report Road to Reform: Reducing Motor Premiums by Reforming the Personal Injury Claims Process, ahead of the end of the Ministry of Justice whiplash consultation.

Aviva says that if insurers handled personal injury claims directly as part of a legal requirement for claimants to contact the at-fault insurer first, around £1.5 billion could be cut from premiums.

Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva, said: “Our primary concerns are that injured parties receive care and compensation as quickly as possible and that all motorists benefit from a reduction in the excessive costs that have built up in claims over the past few years.

“We are campaigning for a more efficient system that removes the ‘interested parties’ and requires people to deal directly with the insurer of the at-fault party.”

Aviva reckons cases could cost 50% less by taking claims management firms and solicitors out of the process. The savings could go to motorists as lower premiums.

Claimants would not lose as Aviva’s research shows amount of compensation awarded is the same whether the claim is handled directly or via a third party.

According to the insurer’s research, motorists also support changes such as:

  • Insurers providing access to injury treatment and care rather than compensation.
  • Bans on excessive legal fees and the unnecessary involvement of lawyers.
  • Tighter regulation on the marketing of claims management companies and personal injury solicitors.

The findings show nearly two thirds of drivers believe people make claims so they have cash to spend on luxuries rather than medical help after a crash.

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