March 16, 2017

Fair’s fair.

If Chancer Philip Hammond can make a u-turn on National Insurance Contributions for the self-unemployed, surely he can do the same with that Ogden discount rate thing.

That’s what Jimmy Dalton of the Association of Brush Insurers has been thinking this week – and not, indeed, been too shy to say in near enough as many words.

More than this, however, Jim’s cooked up a genius scheme whereby Spread-Sheep Phil (or Chuckles as his parliamentary colleagues prefer to call him these days) can fill the hole left by his abrupt change of course on NICS in the UK’s under-pressure public finances.

Not requiring insurers to pay so much money to people with life changing injuries, Jim suggests, could actually be a win-win thing for government and business.
Wait, you may be thinking (because you know what you’re like, always getting hold of the wrong end of the stick), does that mean that if HMG backtracks on its plans to change the discount rate to 0.75% insurers are saying they’ll slip it some notes?

No, of course it doesn’t. Jim’s not the kind to go around splashing his members’ cash on influencing government policy. What he’s suggested to SS Phil is as follows:

‘As last week’s budget confirmed, the ill-judged decision to reduce the discount rate to -0.75 per cent will lead to a massive £6bn hit on the NHS.’ So, basically, HMG would be saving itself money by putting the discount rate back where it found it (and maybe reviewing it sensibly when everything’s settled down a bit).

The fact that insurers won’t have to pay out so much by way of damages awarded to people with so-called life-changing injuries is just a bonus!

So basically, no Ogden uplift (or downlift or whatever it is), no worries! Every one’s a winner. Everybody’s happy nowadays. Come on and let the good times roll. Etc.

Except that, as sure as eggs is eggs, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

A case in point being one legal expenses insurer (who shall remain nameless to spare their blushes) who bizarrely claimed this week that people might view insurers as ‘shallow, self-interested and heartless’ just because they’re trying to talk the government out of implementing Liz Truss’ quite literally crazy plans for discount rate revision.

Think of the poor old NHS, for heaven’s sake!


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