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The Bankstone News team keep a sideways-slanting eye on current developments in the world of motor insurance. Boldly grasping the wrong end of any news stick going, Bankstone News keeps its loyal readers comprehensively misinformed and (just occasionally) mildly amused.

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I Love Lunch

January 22, 2018

If you were at Friday’s I Love Clams’ Motor Claims Networking Lunch at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms, you won’t need us to tell you what a fabulous event it was.

If you weren’t there and would have liked to have been, you probably won’t want us to tell you what a fabulous event it was, because that would just be rubbing (metaphorical) salt in your (equally metaphorical) wounds.

If you weren’t there and, quite frankly, wouldn’t have gone if they’d paid you, then, again, you won’t want us to tell you what a fabulous event it was, because you’re Lukewarm About Claims at best.

None of that, obviously, is going to stop us bringing you the following in-depth account of what a fabulous event the 2018 I Love Clams Motor Knitworking Lunch really was.

Our man on the spot, Bankstone MD Dip-thong Tie-string, reliably informs us that this was the best attended ILC lunch ever, with m>re than 500 persons squeezed in around tables (some of them tucked away on the balcony this year) with actual tablecloths and proper cutlery and everything.

Style-conscious Tie-string noted the prevalence of boldly checked suits, and, if we know him, will be nipping down to his tailor in Dilman’s Yard any time now to have himself fitted for something natty crafted from a broad expanse of black and orange chequerboard velour.

ILC chairman Chris Ashworth, one of those seen sporting checks

Regular readers will be familiar with Mr T’s well-documented love of food. On which basis, you won’t be altogether surprised to learn that the next thing you will learn here about the ILC motor launch is what there was to eat there. This was as follows:

Cornish crab with three diamond-shaped lozenges of cucumber jelly, followed by an excellent ‘lump’ of pan-fried fillet o’steak, celeriac puree, Portobello mushroom, a fair quenelle of watercress and Madeira sauce, culminating in cheesecake and sorbet (or possibly, since this is Tie-string we’re talking about, cheese, cake and sorbet).

Compere for the event was none other than Jonny Gould who is apparently some kind of TV presenter who runs auctions at charity events on the side. Tie-string reckons he was rather good at this, wringing ever more extravagant bids from those intent on proving they had cash to splash.

But he wasn’t as good as guest speaker Matt Dawson, a former rugby player, we’re led to understand, and also a regular on some TV thing called a Question of Spores. Dawson had the crowd on tent hooks at he recalled his stint on (another TV show) Strictly Come Ballroom Dancing, then soothed them with a blow by blow break-down of the build-up to Jonny Wilkinson’s world cup winning ball-through-posts kicking thing in 2003, and finally roused them to applause by explaining that he was going to stop talking and sit down again now.

Somewhere along the way, he also explained that episodes of a Question of Spores are filmed in batches of three – punctuated by lengthy stints at the bar (i.e. the kind of bar where people drink alcohol, not the legal or the balletic kind) – resulting in subtle modulations in the degree of enthusiasm, hilarity, abandon, and indeed coherence in participants’ comportment (which readers may wish to see if they can discern for themselves when watching future emissions of this popular show), and why anyone tempted to ‘touch’ noted grilling expert George Foreman might be well advised to reconsider.

Some people (though not all) also talked a bit about motor insurance claims.

All in all, a truly fabulous event.

Industry News

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No cause for alarm over PI LIPs explosion

January 22, 2018

Answering questions on potential problems with the government’s proposed PI reforms from members of the Commons Juice Committee on 16 January, justice minister Dickie Keen (aka Lord Keen of Lie) explained patiently that something will turn up and it’ll all be fine.

Barring claimants with injuries worth under £5k from recouping their legal costs, Lord K accepted, would significantly increase the number of persons obliged to seek justice without the benefit of legal representation. But, he insisted, litigants in person (LIPs) should have no trouble negotiating the complexities of the English civil justice system unassisted.

There’s really nothing much to it, he suggested. And if LIPs really felt they needed help, someone or other would probably be only too happy to provide it. Their union, perhaps. Or maybe the Citizens Advice Bureau. It would give them something to do. Or what about Claims Manufacturing Companies (CMCs) – couldn’t they get involved?

Responding to quibbles along the lines of ‘weren’t CMCs supposed to a key factor in creating and sustaining the fanatical compensation cult that is currently threatening the entire fabric of British society’, Keen noted that, obviously, there were one or two bad apples amongst the CMCs of this world, but most of these chaps were perfectly reputable and it would be good to get them involved in a new sector of the market where they could provide a refreshing alternative to Before The Event insurance for trivial PI claims.

When some smart-arse pointed out that, just because a case is low-value, it doesn’t mean it isn’t complex, Lord K suggested that judges or perhaps ‘parties’ could step in to have the cases taken somewhere else where complicated legal stuff could more practicably be accommodated. Or, better still, claimants could simply give up and go away.

Quizzed on the fairness and appropriateness of denying so many smaller claimants the chance of legal representation, Lord K stressed that the most urgent matter was not what should be done but when – and, what with all these fraudulent whiplash claims about these days, that ‘when’ could not come soon enough.

Exactly how many fraudulent claims are there about these days?, someone wanted to know. To which, Lord K patiently reiterated that this was really not the point. Far more important than getting bogged down in a lot of tedious detail, he made clear, was getting something done – and getting it done quickly.

The beauty of a one-size fits all solution like the proposed small claims limit increase, he emphasised, was that restricting little people’s access to legal support would make them much more likely to ‘pause and think about the merits of their claim before they make it’.

Quite right too! If people can’t afford justice, they’ve no right going round demanding compensation every time they happen to sustain some minor injury or other. It’s basic common sense, really, if you think about it.

And, if that seems a trifle harsh, there’s plenty more to come where that came from. So you’d better get used to the idea.

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