Rising cost of personal injury claims pushes RBS into the red

The insurance arm of RBS has posted a £295 million operating loss for last year, a big drop from its £58 million profit in 2009. RBS is the UK’s largest personal insurer and owns, amongst others, the well known brands Churchill, Direct Line and Green Flag.

The rising cost of personal injury claims and the severe winter weather suffered in Q1 and Q4 last year are both seen as attributing factors to the loss. The group also pointed out that for every £1 it collected in premiums, £1.15 is paid out in personal injury compensation and associated costs.

Meanwhile, some specialist personal injury solicitors are still concerned that the Ministry of Justice’s proposed reforms of the legal system will deny legitimate claimants access to justice.

The head of clinical negligence at Leigh Day & Co, Russell Levy, said he was concerned that if all the proposals are implemented, people who have the most serious injuries will not get proper recompense. Large corporations, government bodies and insurers would come out the winners and the man in the street the loser of these reforms.

It’s not only personal injury lawyers who have expressed concerns either. Leading environmental and international human rights organisations are worried that these reforms could have far-reaching implications. These organisations are particularly concerned that victims of corporate harm may be unable to claim compensation because lawyers will decide it is not feasible to take on the case.

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