We are pleased the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers shares our desire to make the compensation system more efficient (Letters, 2 February). But the association is wrong about our motives for reform.

Our proposals aim to speed up the time it takes to pay compensation and improve access to rehabilitation. Insurers want to pay compensation more quickly than the system allows. The current process is too slow,complex and costly.

We are not seeking to drive lawyers out of the process. Our proposals contain checks and balances to ensure nobody is denied their legal rights. But we do need to reduce the burden of unnecessary legal costs, particularly for smaller claims where there is often no dispute about liability or the right level of compensation.

Reform in Ireland has resulted in compensation being paid much more quickly and cost effectively, with no reduction in the money claimants get.

Insurers are already taking steps, such as developing a code of best practice on rehabilitation, but wide ranging reform is needed. We want to work with the legal community and all other stakeholders to deliver a compensation system fit for the needs of all genuine claimants.

Nick Starling,
Director of general insurance,
Association of British Insurers