Last week Backchat reported that Miller Fisher's loss adjusters had been accused of holding files to ransom.

But we have learned that the company's administrator Deloitte & Touche is playing a similar game.

ATD General Underwriting Agency managing director Tony Docherty told Backchat that the Miller Fisher administrator demanded that Docherty pay for the work in progress (WIP) value before his 400 files could be returned.

The catch was that Docherty was not allowed to have the files returned to his Manchester office to ascertain whether Deloitte & Touche's valuations - obtained by inflating the Miller Fisher WIP valuation by 10% for "profit" - were correct.

According to Docherty, the administrator said he could send his claims staff to Cunningham Lindsey's Cardiff office and audit the files there, which Docherty refused.

"I explained that, as an underwriting agency with a relatively small claims department, we didn't have the extensive resources which other insurers had to be able to do this and continue to give our brokers an efficient claims service," he said.

"However, I was told it was a take-it or leave-it situation."

Leave it was exactly what Docherty did. Using a combination of ATD's and brokers‚ files, his claims staff have started settling claims.

"I was somewhat bemused by last week's [Insurance Times] article entitled `Redundant staff warned over files'.

"In my opinion, the administrator is rather more guilty of holding claims files hostage," he said.

"Double standards or what?"