Ministers will decide within weeks whether insurers will be regulated by the new rules on the regulation of claims management companies.

Mark Boleat, who has been appointed by the government to head up the new regime, said the extent to which insurers would be regulated by the Compensation Act was "not certain" at present.

He said a decision would be made "within a month".

Last week, Insurance Times revealed that insurance companies that engaged in claims procurement or "third-party capture" activities faced the threat of regulation under the Compensation Act.

Such a move would be controversial and has been described by the ABI as "ludicrous".

Boleat acknowledged there were arguments for and against bringing claims procurement activities within the remit of the claims regulator.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week that Staffordshire County Council trading standards will run the monitoring and compliance unit for the regulation of claims management companies.

' InjuryLawyers4U has signalled official support for the Claims Standards Council.

The organisation, a consortium of personal injury lawyers, had publicly slated the CSC in the past for the CSC's failure to keep its members from behaving inappropriately.

Timetable to claims regulation
October 2006 - Regulations and rules finalised and laid before parliament

November 2006 - Regulations and rules come into force; businesses invited to apply for authorisation

February 2007 - Claims Management Services Tribunals established; deadline for submitting applications for authorisation

April 2007 - Offence of operating without a licence comes into force