No doubt most people in the industry will have seen or heard about Tonight with Trevor McDonald (ITV1, 11 September) about insurance scams and staged accidents resulting in billions of pounds being paid out on fraudulent claims for injuries/repairs/hire vehicles and fees.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I recall having had discussions with insurers 10 years ago suggesting that certain claims be investigated or repudiated as, unless a stance was made, the floodgates would open. The response at the time was that defending these claims was not cost effective. Well, it now appears the flood-gates are not just wide open, but have been stolen from their hinges.

It is now so easy to extract money from insurers (unless you are the policyholder, of course) that it has attracted the hardened criminal and fraudsters, thereby perpetuating the problem.

At last, though, the industry is trying to combat the problem, but it is probably too little, too late. I have been speaking to Norwich Union about a claim it is investigating but, for some reason, it seems unwilling to discuss or advise the third-party insurers of its concerns.

And as for the government and the courts, what are they doing? Oh, sorry, they are handing out one or two community orders to the offenders - pathetic.

John E Leak
Partner
Anderson Ashcroft