MPs and ABI increase calls for reform

The government has come under fierce pressure to reform the personal injury claims process this week, with MPs preparing to table questions in the House of Commons and the ABI issuing a calls to arms following Insurance Times’ revelation that long awaited proposals may be watered down or scrapped.

Tory MP John Greenway, chair of the All Party Insurance & Financial Services Group, said abandoning or diluting the proposals would be a savage blow to claimants and the

insurance industry.

He said: “This is not acceptable given the time that has been spent on this legislation over which there was a reasonable consensus. There will be a need for a debate if the government changes its mind. We must put pressure on them.”

Meanwhile Justin Jacobs, the ABI’s liability director, told delegates at the CII’s insurance forum on Tuesday that, despite a lack of government activity, the need for change is greater than ever.

Jacobs blamed trade unions and personal injury claims managers for trying to block government reforms, as reported last week.The government is believed to have received more than 300 responses to its consultation paper. Final proposals were due to be released in the autumn, but the Ministry of Justice said last week that it was still analysing the responses.

Insurers and claims solicitors believe the proposals are about to be watered down or dropped altogether.

The main areas of debate surround extending the small claims amount from £1,000 to £5,000, implementing set fees for claims managers, mass changes to after the event insurance premiums and doing away with referral fees.

An ABI spokesman said: “Doing nothing will only add insult to injury for genuine claimants. In the coming months we will be upping the calls for action.”