Insurance companies are giving claims companies, personal injury solicitors and the no win, no fee system a bad name by refusing to reimburse insurance premiums, says a senior insurance lawyer.

Brian Coghlan, a partner at Manchester law firm Rowe Cohen and member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), said: “There are particular insurance companies that have caused confusion about claims companies ‘ripping off the public'.”

Coghlan defended the no win, no fee process, saying any criticism of those that made compensation claims was based on ignorance. He said this could “amount to bullying, which prevents victims with legitimate claims seeking redress”.

Compensation was not a bonus, he said, but aimed to put the injured party back in the position they would have been in but for the accident.

He defended the funding of cases, saying since the abolition of legal aid for personal injury cases, many claimants had no choice but to take the no win, no fee route. The only alternative was to pay a solicitor up front for all the legal costs of the case, he said.