Claims Direct collapsed into receivership this week, with chief executive Ronnie Henderson blaming insurers for its demise.

It ran out of cash less than a year after being taken over, prompting fears that its tens of thousands of customers could lose payments worth £80m.

The shares were suspended last Wednesday as the current issue of Insurance Times described the company as having sunk "close to junk status".

The company had been trying to raise new funding, but is believed to have come up against investors' reluctance to put in money until a series of High Court cases is decided.

Henderson said: "Unfortunately the total intransigence of the liability insurance industry in not acknowledging their responsibilities to our clients under the Access to Justice Act has continued to be a significant drain on our resources, despite the recent support for the new legislative regime from the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.

"Indeed the results of our own test cases on the reasonableness of our premiums are expected within weeks."

He said this, and the "poor business decisions of the previous management" delayed the introduction of a new business model, forcing the company into administration.

Entrepreneur Simon Ware-Lane, who funded a take-over of Claims Direct last year, backed Henderson's argument.

He said that rather than Claims Direct keeping its clients' money, "it was the losing parties' insurers who would not pay".