September 22, 2015

Honestly, it’s worse than ever, sighs AXA underwriting kingpin David Walliams. The it in question is, of course, whiplash. Not that Dave is suffering with a touch of the non-existent cervical complaint himself, you understand. No, he’s simply feeling the pain that comes from standing, right up to the top of his waders, in an unabated torrent of trumped up personal injury claims.

Motor insurers’ half-year results have taken a hair-raising hammering at the hands of quite possibly dodgy PI claims, which they’ve had to pay anyway simply because politicians and lawmakers have failed to do their job by rooting out PI claims once and for all. So far the so-called War on Whiplash has been about as effective as the Wars on things like Terror, Drugs, and Jeremy Corbyn.

Walliams has seen a shift in both the dimensions and the character of questionable claims coming across the AXA claims desk. “We are seeing bigger and more fraudulent claims,” he says “as the claims industry finds ways round the rules.” In other words, LASBO, fixed fees, all that nonsense has contributed scarcely a single iota to insurers’ bottom lines.

Surely anyone, in the present climate, who persists in the wooly-headed belief that anything short of a complete ban on claims can save insurers from financial meltdown is living in a fool’s paradise. When a once mighty firm like Esure has to stand by helplessly and watch its underlying profits slump by 21.3%, the time for pussyfooting has passed.

Only by making it a criminal offence to encourage someone to make a claim are we ever going to resolve this situation and restore to our nation a cadre of profit-making motor insurers of which it can be proud.


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