A leading claimant firm says insurers’ own figures prove they have saved a huge sum in claims costs this decade.
Figures obtained by national firm Thompsons Solicitors from the Association of British Insurers appear to show that car insurance claims costs paid out by motor insurers in 2015 totalled £5.8bn – down from £8.3bn in 2010.
The law firm alleges that the ABI has ‘sat’ on annual general insurance overview figures during the summer’ – because they compromise its lobbying campaign for further reform of personal injury.
The data emerged as insurers gathered for today’s ABI’s annual motor insurance conference in London.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons, said the insurance industry should stop its ‘manufactured hysteria’ around fraud and be more transparent about savings insurers made from reforms in the last five years.
‘This latest information that has been sat on by the ABI completes a picture they would rather not have out there – of a booming industry with healthy profits and cash reserves paying out huge dividends,’ said Jones.
‘This isn’t a sector buckling under the weight of “fraud” as they would want the British public to believe.’
The ABI today admitted the average comprehensive motor premium has jumped 10% over the last year to £434.
The organisation said reforming personal injury should be higher on the government’s ‘to-do’ list and accused claimant lawyers and claims management companies of ‘exploiting the system at the expense of honest motorists’.
In 2015 insurers say they detected 70,000 fraudulent motor insurance claims valued at £800m.
The industry continues to express its dismay at the apparent delay in implementing reforms that would affect the personal injury market, although the Ministry of Justice has stressed it remains committed to bringing claims numbers down.
Rob Townend, UK claims director at Aviva, said the reforms – including raising the small claims limit and scrapping damages for soft-tissue injuries – are ‘ready to go’ and the current inertia is ‘basically a charter for more nuisance calls’.
Townend added: ‘The news of a delay to planned government whiplash reforms is a blow to families and honest motorists who have already been hit with an IPT [Insurance Premium Tax] increase, rising petrol prices, and now face paying for lawyer profits and criminal acts by fraudsters.’