Claims management companies: still bane of lawyers’ lives

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 25 Feb 2014:

Just when you thought it was safe to practice personal injury claims law in the UK, the claims management company strikes from the shadows once more!

All right so I’m being a bit melodramatic but in essence it’s completely true: the news this week was full of a mixed bag of developments concerning those firms that personal injury lawyers love to hate. CMCs are reviled in the personal injury compensation industry because they’ve a track record of churning out as many spurious claims as possible in order to turn a profit – and they were known to buy the personal details of insurance company customers that had been in accidents in order to make unsolicited phone calls and texts in an effort to convince these customers to bring claims.

Luckily back in 2011 there was some new legislation put into place to curb the depredations of claims management companies. Lo and behold, this week the results came back and those new CMC regulations have worked wonders: there’s something like 45 per cent fewer CMCs operating in the UK now than just a few years ago before the new laws went into effect.

So that’s the good news – and let’s be honest, it’s bloody fantastic. Of course there’s also some bad news as well – even though there are regulations out there making it illegal to do things like sell personal details to CMCs, it’s still going on. In fact, there was a major security breach at car insurance giant Aviva that made the news this week where it was revealed that tens of thousands of their customers may have had their information stolen by two now-sacked Aviva employees and then sold to heaven knows how many claims management companies.

This is exactly the kind of behaviour that proves there’s still a problem with CMCs in the UK at the moment. Yes there have been some arrests made and the authorities are investigating the whole affair, but there’s always going to be instances like this – and many of them might not eve be caught. In other words there may be fewer claims management companies out there right now but they’re still up to their old tricks, even though they’re now illegal!

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