Industry bodies attempt to ward off criticism with new rules

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 18 Feb 2014:

If there’s any industry that loves to shift blame away from them and on to personal injury solicitors, it’s the insurance market – and they’re at it again.

It’s true – though on the surface the news this week doesn’t seem anything but good for consumers. In fact most people would assume that the announcement by the Association of British Insurers that they’ve ratified a new Code of Conduct that ABI members have signed off on would lead to greater levels of transparency between insurers and their customers.

For the most part, that sentiment is correct – signatories to the new ABI code are bound to provide better customer support to their policyholders in the form of revealing which personal injury lawyer works for or is endorsed by a particular insurer, and supposedly these insurers will reduce the pressure on customers to make accident claims in the event of an RTA or something similar. However, the more paranoid injury claims experts have pointed out that this new code can serve as a smokescreen, enabling insurers to renew their attacks on the legal sector by claiming that ‘ambulance chasing’ injury lawyers are out for their blood.

As I said, I know it sounds like a paranoid’s fever dream but you can’t put anything past the insurance industry. This is the same market that was hiking up the prices of their car hire and repair services in order to artificially increase premium prices for innumerable policyholders, just to pad their own pockets with excess wealth, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t immediately believe this new move is for the best.

Meanwhile, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association followed suit this week as well, barking at the ABI’s heels with their own new code of practice. Honestly though do we need that sort of commitment from Biba? I mean I’m not discounting the integral role brokers play in the insurance industry, but it seems less like something that’s needed and more like a move to invoke feelings of solidarity with the insurance industry whilst currying favour amongst their customer base as well, sort of a ‘playing both sides against the middle’ approach that just seems shrewd and calculating to me. Then again, I’m one of those paranoid individuals that sees a bogeyman behind every corner, so what do I know?

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