January 24, 2013

It is a little known fact that insurers actually love paying claims. They really do.

Much as their shareholders would like them to think first about making money and then about giving something back to their customers, insurers have got it all the wrong way round.

“The priority of insurers,” admits Nick Startling of the ABI, “is to pay all genuine claims as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

So what on earth do those scurrilous troublemakers at sixties fashion house BIBA think they are playing at running round telling anyone who’ll listen that insurers secretly don’t want to pay claims? What – as they say – is BIBA’s problem? And where, indeed, does BIBA get off?

Nine in ten of BIBA’s ‘members’ says they think insurers are being more fussy about which claims they will and will not pay. Two thirds of them go on to allege, quite outrageously, that they are having to ‘fight harder’ to get claims paid.  That’s the kind of fighting, presumably, that involves unleashing a fearsome arsenal of phone calls, emails, letters and faxes in a protractedly remorseless onslaught.

The ironic thing is that – so keen are insurers on paying claims – that three quarters of BIBA members have seen insurers change their mind about the tiny minority of truly dodgy looking claims they had reluctantly had to turn away and just pay them anyway!

Where will it end? Do BIBA not realise they are simply driving up the cost of insurance premiums for everyone else by militating endlessly on behalf of all these dubious pay-out seekers? These days everyone seems to be out for whatever they can get – regardless of the consequences. Two words: compensation culture gone crazy.

Disturbing confirmation of this trend come via the Financial Ombudsman’s Service who claim that they have seen a 12% increase in complaints about insurance companies in the past year – most of which relate to people who think they deserve to be paid more just for having suffered some form of loss or misfortune.

A clearly hurt and distressed Nick Startling utterly rejected BIBA’s unworthy allegations. “We do not accept any suggestion that it is getting more difficult for genuine claimants to be paid and we have seen no evidence pointing to this,” he said.

And quite frankly if the claimant isn’t a genuine person – that surely is the point at which – however much you might want to give them some money – you really just have to stand back and say “Whoah, just hold on a minute there, Bud!”


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