I read your weekly regularly and religiously. There have been a few articles on personal injury claims recently, the most recent being Liz Hartley of Datamonitor (3 October, Insurance Times).

These articles vary from the demise of any claims management company to insurers trying to discredit claims management companies and/or trying to justify their arguments on why the injury costs keep increasing and who are to be blamed for these.

One must accept that a company is there to make a profit. To achieve this profit, one has to set oneself the standard of ethics, service and loyalty to the customers - and vice versa - and the cost. The demise of any company mainly depends on these issues.

It is unreasonable to expect a credit car hire company, charging exorbitant rates, to have a long-term future. It has to change and it has changed (although not entirely). The worst is when a car hire company managed by experts in car hire business, suddenly sets up a claims management company.

It is impossible for a claims management company charging exorbitant ATE insurance premiums, sometimes without the knowledge of the claimant and/or without fully explaining the consequences, to get away with it indefinitely. But, looking on the bright side, claims management companies that have never charged any such premium have had their reputations enhanced. Our clients know that we act strictly on no-win, no-fee basis, without any hidden extras.

Insurers seem to blame anyone and everyone for costs increases. If anything, claims companies that have in-house expertise are saving insurance companies the legal costs they would have otherwise incurred.

Hartley's article makes very interesting reading, in that only 64.6% of potentially successful motor claims are being made. She quashed fears that the UK was heading towards US-style compensation culture.

One has to accept that in changing world, there are always going to be additional heads of damages, rise in awards and changes in legislations. There is not a lot one can do about these except participate positively in any relevant debates. As far as I am concerned, there are legitimate answers to most of the concerns and worries that the insurers currently have.

Insurers must look at their working practices in greatest details to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Insurers have more strengths than weaknesses and can change things around in their favour, without increasing overheads. To conduct this exercise, you do not need to employ a highly paid consultant who has never handled a personal injury claim. I would invite any insurance company to listen to my ideas on how to save substantial sums of money.

Kaushik Shah
KP Loss Assessors

Send letters to: Insurance Times, 30 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6YJor email
letters@instimes.co.uk or fax 020 7618 3499