The historical fight between the insurance plan enterprise and attorneys continues to rage on. Insurance businesses have been crying wolf over solicitors fees in accident claims, bemoaning that they are getting out of control, with the state-of-the-art propaganda battle this is flatly blaming accident claims solicitors for the rising cost of car insurance! Are solicitors so powerful that they can bring down the mighty insurance plan industry or is it a very sensible propaganda ruse?
Hypocritically, insurance agencies have for years been dubiously and quietly sitting on a financial merry-go-round making massive sums of money by means of selling instances to solicitors. And while insurance organizations remained the solely serious kids on the block in referring accident claims instances to solicitors, existence could not have been more cosy.
However, with the Solicitors’ Introduction and Referral Code in 2004, which was changed via Rule 9 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, the ban on referral fees used to be finally lifted.
This dawned a new era in personal injury claims, with the emergence of claims management businesses and the sudden flood of high-profile marketing campaigns aimed at wooing victims of accidents into bringing compensation claims.
Now that the insurance plan businesses – who have notably held a monopoly on referral prices – have a serious competitor who don’t seem to be afraid of spending large sums of money on country wide advertising campaigns to deliver in a flood of new accident claims, they’re unhappy.
The insurance plan industry is now discovering itself outside of the monetary loop as greater injury cases get swooped up by way of Claims Management companies. They have misplaced their control of the claims market. Worse still, the insurance plan industry is now starting to wither as it finds itself having to pick out up the tab on greater accident claims as the well-known public become greater skilled on their prison entitlements.
The query one need to ask is would the insurance plan enterprise have been so vocal about solicitors expenses and now referral prices if it had maintained its low-key monopoly on personal damage referrals? Somehow I doubt it very much.
It used to be always very unsettling to me that insurance corporations have been being paid via their appointed panel solicitors who then pursued a claim on behalf of the injured party against every other insurer. A primary problem with this country of affairs is that the insurance enterprise is a very small market, managed by means of a few large players. So it wouldn’t be wonderful for a company of solicitors to pay a referral fee to an insurance enterprise towards whom it may also need to sue in order to declare damages for a sufferer of an accident.
Whilst I have no doubt that the instructing solicitor will continually act in the satisfactory pastime of their purchaser (the injured party), I do question the diploma to which they can act as robustly in their representation of that client, when they have a monetary umbilical wire with the insurance plan company.
As a solicitor that has worked in this discipline except having to remember on referrals from exterior organisations, I’m quite comfortable about rattling an insurance company’s cage in my pursuant of making sure that purchasers that I symbolize get what they have to be entitled to. I’m now not so positive that I can act so freely if I had one hand in an insurance plan company’s pocket.
The market for too lengthy as been a relaxed area for the huge brand players and I suppose it is excessive time that we have extra transparency.
I therefore applaud the recent selection of AXA, as the first insurance business enterprise in the UK to refuse “acceptance fees” from private damage lawyers. It is the right message to supply to the market and a step in the right direction. Whether other insurers will comply with suit, I’m no longer certain as there may be too many vested interests.
So while the insurance company’s cozy function is now below threat, we’re in chance of seeing it changed with but another hazard that may also end up undermining great of service.
In a few short years we have considered a dramatic upward jostle in the wide variety of classified ads by way of corporations seeking to appeal to accident victims, which via itself is not an issue. However, what is greater disturbing is the increasing wide variety of shady business practices such as unsolicited and intrusive telephone calls, mail and textual content messages that offers all of us in the enterprise not least solicitors a very terrible reputation.
Unless there are tighter controls on referral prices including their use as bribes to entice victims of accidents to register with one or other company, and until there is increased enforcement towards unruly commercial enterprise practices, we’re in chance of isolating the prison occupation and causing it irreparable damage at a time when we want to be constructing increased believe with the widespread public.