What is going on in the insurance industry? Within a matter of months, we have seen the demise of Drake, Chester Street, and now Independent, with attendant rumours and recriminations.

If all this is leaving liquidators overworked, spare a thought for the injured people who continue to suffer the stress and worry of wondering if their compensation is going to be paid.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has been besieged with calls from lawyers following the collapse of Independent, wanting advice about how claims should be handled.

Before the election, the government issued a press release optimistically headlined "Uncertainty over for Chester Street victims". The fact is that the uncertainty is far from over.

That action has been taken is undoubtedly good news for claimants. But we still have to wait until November to find out details of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and whether this new organisation will act effectively as an insurer of last resort in these situations.

We have no details of the mechanisms by which payments may be made and claimants need to know that these details will reflect the broad assurances provided by the government in May.

Most importantly of all, we believe it is time for the government to hold a public enquiry into these insolvencies to establish how they were able to happen and what can be done to prevent this kind of debacle from happening in the future.

  • Frances McCarthy is the president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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