ABI calls for clampdown on rogue claims companies

The public continues to be plagued by nuisance calls or texts from companies encouraging them to claim for compensation, such as for personal injury, according to the ABI.

Despite measures aimed at curbing their activities, nearly half of Briton’s say they have been contacted by one of these companies within the last week. The findings of an ABI commissioned survey show that:

  • 83% of people have been contacted by a claims management company encouraging them to claim for compensation, including for personal injury following a road traffic accident and mis sold payment protection insurance. Nearly half of people – 49% – had been contacted within the last week.
  • Nine in ten (92%) people who were contacted said that the contact had no relevance to any event or product that they held.
  • Four in five (83%) people feel it is unacceptable to be contacted by claims management companies without their consent.

The findings will be discussed at an ABI conference yesterday (8 September) that will consider what further steps are needed to tackle the UK’s compensation culture.

James Dalton, the ABI’s director of general insurance policy said, ‘These shocking findings show that, despite recent reforms, the UK’s compensation culture is alive and well and continues to thrive. For too long, too many people have been plagued by these nuisance calls and action is needed to clamp down on them. The industry fully supports genuine claimants receiving compensation in a timely and proportionate manner, which is why we have campaigned for the changes to our civil litigation system.’

He continued, ‘But the continued behaviour of some claims management companies encourages fraudulent and frivolous claims that push up the costs of insurance for honest customers. We will be working with the Government in their review of the claims management sector to ensure that this day-to-day nuisance is tackled once and for all.’

Recent action that has been taken against rogue claims management firms includes:

  • A 12 month jail sentence for the director of a claims firm who produced bogus documentation to support personal injury claims for several schoolboys involved in a road crash even though their parents did not wish to claim as they had not been injured.
  • A £220,000 fine for The Hearing Clinic who repeatedly cold called people encouraging them to claim for noise induced hearing loss against their employer.

Action that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of receiving unwanted calls or texts:

  • Register with The Telephone Preference Service to opt out of getting unsolicited marketing or sales calls.
  • Keep off of sales lists and opt out of direct marketing.
  • If you get a call ask the person to delete your details from their records.

Any business that offers claims management services in England and Wales must be authorised by the Ministry of Justice’s claims management regulator.