The ABI director general, Stephen Haddrill, has written to the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) urging it not to regulate insurers in the same league as claims management companies (CMCs).

It is understood the DCA is currently formulating the rules under which CMCs must operate. Insurers which capture third party claims may be forced to abide by the new rules.

In the letter, the Haddrill writes: "We strongly belive that such new regulatory barriers should not be put in the way of the insurer trying to get the claim settled quickly...

"The proposal would also duplicate regulation in this area. The FSA Handbook already requires insurers to apply its principles to such third party claims and, specifically, to make sure that the third party claimant is treated equally with a claimant who is a direct customer.

"The FSA reviewed whether it should strengthen any of these provisions when introduced its general insurance regime a year ago and decided this was unnecessary."

Mark Boleat, head of claims management regulation, refused to be drawn on whether insurers would come under the CMC regulatory regime.

However, he said brokers which procure claims would be governed by the rules. "In dealing with their own policyholders brokers will be exempt, if they are selling cases they will not," he said.