Abbey Legal Protection is taking the moral high ground against Claims Direct, the UK's biggest “no win, no fee” personal injury claims company, with the relaunch of its rival company.

Accident Line, which is endorsed by the Law Society, says that Claims Direct and other claims farmers are charging “unreasonable” premiums.

Managing director Chris Ward said Claims Direct was charging a basic £1,350 premium, which he believed could be challenged in the courts on the grounds of being unreasonable under the Access to Justice Bill.

And in a thinly-veiled attack, David McIntosh, the Law society representative, made several swipes at Claims Direct which he accused of viewing solicitors as a “necessary evil”.

The Accident Line policy, Accident Line Protect, costs £315 for the most basic personal injury fast-track cases and rises up to more than £2,000 for the more complex occupational disease claims.

It will handle cases through a panel of 450 solictors firms.

The potential after-the-event market is huge. Out of two million personal injury accidents a year, there are only 350,000 actual claims. Claims Direct handled 40,000 claims last year compared to Accident Line's 20,000.

Solicitors are warned that they cannot guarantee that all the insurance premium will be recoverable.