March 9, 2011

Beleaguered motor insurers have long attempted to convince politicians and lawmakers that more needs to be done to combat the scourge of fraudulent claims. Now it seems the message has finally got through.

Stop ‘cash-for-crash’ fraud, insurers told,” The FT reports this week. The Parliamentary Transport Committee has apparently claimed that “Car insurers must do more to tackle “cash-for-crash’ fraud.”

Such as? Such as “funding a specialist police unit” for example, the committee has reportedly suggested. Perhaps, in the spirit of the so-called Big Society, insurers would like to pick up the tab for the British Transport Police.

More to the point, committee chairbeing, Louise Ellman is concerned about things like welters and merry-go-rounds. “Consumers are largely unaware of how much money moves around the insurance industry [in referral payments] when they make a claim,” she claims.

Insurers should be doing more, she insists, to ‘shed light’ on the merry-go-round of referral payments paid to and by insurers and solicitors and a “welter of other businesses.”

“If insurance companies cannot agree a method for improving transparency around referral fees, then the government should step in,” she threatens vaguely.

Fascinating and enlightening as full disclosure might be, consumers should probably not hold their breaths to find out how the industry really values them as claimants.

Descending from a moving merry-go-round can be perilous, particularly if you’re the first one off.


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