New government plans to tackle insurance fraud have been criticised as being more about cost cutting than cutting down on fraudulent claims.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced the fees for medical reports as part of personal injury claims, will be cut from up to £700 to just £180.
According to Mr Grayling the change is to be enforced along with a number of new measures to overturn the UK`s growing “compensation culture” and drive out dishonest whiplash claims.
The plan aims to bring down the total amount being paid out unnecessarily by insurance companies on fraudulent claims and enabling them to pass on savings to their customers.
While the idea of driving out dishonest customers may seem like a step in the right direction, the impact to justice this plan entails is actually impeding access to justice for genuine victims who are in the overwhelming majority.
The plans will affect a claimants’ ability to get what they are entitled to and hinder their chances of getting the legal representation they deserve when going through an unfamiliar and complicated process.
Medical experts are honourable and professional men and women. How it was decided that cutting the fees would reduce the amount of claims or drive out fraud is beyond me.
David Bott, Senior Partner at Bott and Co said: “Medical experts are honourable and professional men and women. How it was decided that cutting the fees would reduce the amount of claims or drive out fraud is beyond me. This should be seen for what it is – cost cutting, pure and simple”.
Mr Grayling said “We are determined to have an improved, robust system for medical evidence – so genuine claims can still be settled but fraud is driven out of the market.”
Paul Hinchliffe, Managing Partner at Bott and Co has said: “These changes arise from this government cosying up to the insurers and generally doing their bidding. Insurers should stop making pre-medical offers to settle cases. We have seen a reduction in pre-medical offers but insurers are still making them to our clients in about 5-10% of cases. Needless to say we always advise our clients to reject them”.