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Law Gazette

Insurance giant urges government to put more restrictions on low-value RTA claims

On Tuesday, insurance company Axa, issued a report with the aim to put pressure on the government to implement new medical and time limits on law-value RTA claims.

In the past, Axa has lobbied for whiplash claims to be rejected without an MRI scan or x-ray and the report points to countries such as Sweden and France as examples of countries that have a more appropriate system in place. Axa indicates in the report that imposing more restrictions will decrease the amount of fraudulent claims in the UK, as France and Sweden have a much lower rate of whiplash claims than the UK.

The Motor Accident Solicitors Society offered a rebuttal yon Wednesday, asserting that the report ‘promises enlightenment, but only delivers a blinkered view.’ MASS argued that the figures presented by Axa are outdated and therefore, inaccurate. They then went on to point out that the insurance industry’s own research, published only this year, found that there had been a 1000% increase in whiplash claims in France, a far cry from the figures presented in the latest report.

Claimant solicitors believe that the report is another example of the insurance industry’s lobbying efforts to attack claimant’s rights to personal justice. A worry for MASS is that if genuine victims do not receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries, this is likely to put pressure and the NHS and benefits system, which will ultimately affect the tax payer. Shifting the burden of rehabilitation funding to the tax payer would considerably boost the profit margins for the insurance industry.

Both MASS and claimant solicitors have dismissed the report as ‘highly biased’.

 

Sources

'AXA calls for ban on contingency fees for low value motor claims.' Solicitors Journal, 17/07/2013

'Claimant solicitors attack insurer's "biased" whiplash proposals.' John Hyde, The Law Gazette, 17/07/2013

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