' Nick Starling urged the industry to make its voice heard before the Compensation Bill is put through Parliament.

He also outlined what the ABI expectedto see in the document expected later this year.

The supposed explosion of claims does not exist, Starling argued. To reinforce this message to consumers, the ABI would like to see a series of actions taken by the government.

First: the speeding up of the claims system, "too much money and too much time is lost in the claims system," he said. Where litigation is used in the system, claims settlements can take years, making it a costly experience for all those involved.

Second: create a realistic view of compensation awards, "all average compensation rightly does not match the expectations created by the daytime TV advertising of the claims management companies."

Third: bring claims management companies under greater jurisdiction to safeguard the interests of the claimant, and by forcing them to "properly represent the real fees they charge and by streamlining the process for claims redress."

Starling said: "Claims management companies look for cash payments, because they can take a share, in fact an injured person may really need rehabilitation."

Less than 10% of those who need rehabilitation actually get it, he said.

On top of this Starling called on companies in the liability sector to make more changes beyond the Bill.

Steps must be taken to address the liabilities of long tail diseases, and the discount rate should be brought back into the debate.

"The problem is that the system for settling compensation is opaque and not one where stakeholders in the compensation system have a say, and that makes risk based pricing difficult," he said.

"We urge government to listen to everyone in the system when setting the appropriate criteria for compensation claims."

Nick Starling is head of general insurance at the ABI

Nick Starlin

Key point
Claims system must be speeded u

Create a realistic view of compensation award level

More legal control over claims management companie