Claims Standard Council to launch an association for claims management companies

Claims management companies could introduce fixed fees for case handling under the umbrella of a members' association to be launched next week.

The proposal to launch the Claims Standards Council Members' Association will be announced at the Claims Standards Council (CMC) conference on 3 February.

A CSC spokesman said: "It may well be possible to encourage better and more cost effective funding methods and commercial development/joint ventures to be introduced into the claims arena via the association, especially in the light of the outcome of the Clementi report."

One option is the introduction of a twin-track fixed cost programme for single track and multi-track cases as is currently operated by a number of firms in the area. CSC members will be balloted on the formation of the association after the 3 February meeting.

Its main objective is to provide clear separation between the regulator (CSC) and member firms. It will also aim to promote members' interests and provide a focal point for contact on claims issues to the public, the consumer help services and the press.

The spokesman said: "It will be interesting to see if the insurers and others that have been involved with all the long running satellite litigation over the past few years will get behind, and perhaps even sponsor, the Claims Standards Council and the members' association."

' The CSC has warned that if the meeting on 3 February does not attract enough new members it might withdraw voluntary regulation and call for legislation to control the industry.