General Insurance Article - Changes would be a licence for insurers to under-settle


Thompsons Solicitors, Head of Policy, Tom Jones says that that insurers routinely try to under-settle and pay out much less than what an injury is worth. Yet, despite this the government is still proposing that insurers be left to decide fair compensation without someone knowledgeable sticking up for the injured

 An independent survey has found that only 1 in 10 people in the UK would trust an insurer to offer them the correct amount of compensation if they were injured.

 The research, conducted by Censuswide as part of the new ‘Feeding Fat Cats’ campaign by Thompsons Solicitors, showed that just 10% of people believe insurers can be trusted to correctly value injuries.

 The results of the survey have been published following the government announcing proposals that could see free or affordable legal support removed from the claims process, leaving ordinary workers and motorists attempting to fight their case on their own in the small claims court.

 Tom Jones, Head of Policy at Thompsons Solicitors said: “The majority of the British public believe – and it’s a fact backed up by the government in its own paperwork - that insurers routinely try to under-settle and pay out much less than what an injury is worth. Yet, despite this the government is still proposing that insurers be left to decide fair compensation without someone knowledgeable sticking up for the injured. This is the government knowingly letting the foxes have the run of a coop of injured chickens.

 “Insurers are businesses; their aim is to make profit. Why wouldn’t they try to pay as little as possible to the injured, to increase the already eye-watering remuneration packages to their multimillion £ CEOs and pay outs to shareholders? The public doesn’t trust insurers, and rightfully so.

 “This is the government feeding fat cats while the rest of us are starved of basic rights.”

 The government has said that the changes mean that ‘some’ drivers ‘could’ save ‘about’ £40 on their car insurance premium, but they have already admitted publicly that they won’t force insurers to pass on the savings. The imaginary premium savings are just a fig leaf for an attack on all injured people going far beyond those injured on the road.

 Workplace injuries have no bearing on the so-called ‘whiplash epidemic’ and ultimately will have no effect on car insurance costs.

 As Shadow Lord Chancellor Richard Burgon has said: “These changes would be a licence for insurance companies to under-settle or not pay out at all to nearly a million injured people a year.

 “What’s more, the government has offered no justification for including work accidents in what is being billed as a reform of whiplash. The proposed changes are in fact about the insurance industry seizing control of the legal process and undermining the longstanding legal principle that the guilty party pays.”
  

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