It has recently emerged that the Government has accepted all of the 26 recommendations put forward by the Insurance Fraud Taskforce in their report last January.
Measures will include clamping down on unscrupulous solicitor
A lower burden of proof before the Solicitors Disciplinary
Tribunal (the civil, as opposed to the criminal, standard)
Stronger fining powers for the Solicitors Regulation Authority
(above the existing £2,000)
Measures to discourage late claims
In respect of discouraging fraudulent late claims, the report
recommended changes to the rules concerning the court, costs and
evidence. Suggestions included the following:
Reducing recoverable costs by 50% if a minor claim is notified
six months or more after the accident
Introducing a rebuttable evidential presumption that no injury
occurred if claims are lodged after a certain specified period
Older claims be allocated to the small claims track, with more
recent claims proceeding as normal on the fast track
The Taskforce also recommended consulting on an obligation for
referral sources to be included on claims notification forms (which
would assist with fraud detection) and for claims to only proceed
where this is completed.
A tougher stance was encouraged of the SRA, for example to carry
out client identification checks in more cases.
The ABI was advised to discourage 'inappropriate use of
pre-medical offers,' a proposal firmly supported by Law Society
Chief Executive, Catherine Dixon, as the value of claims
'cannot be properly assessed against robust medical
evidence.' The Chief Executive also implies that the report
does not go far enough and maintains that it is critical for
fraudulent and defendable claims to be defended.
The report also included proposals for insurers themselves, who
were strongly invited to share data with the SRA in the event of
suspected fraud or referral fee ban breaches. It was highlighted
that guidance is required in respect of acceptable forms of contact
between insurers and claimants, to ensure the latter has given
instructions to their representatives.
The Government will outline how the proposals will be
implemented 'in due course,' according to Treasury Minister
Harriett Baldwin, who insisted on urgency, given the estimated cost
of the problem to the country is £3bn.
Although the proposals are inevitably contested by claimant
lawyers, it is hoped that they will work in conjunction with the
measures announced in the Autumn Statement and the heightened
claims management company regulation; in furtherance of the
Government's commitment to crackdown on fraudulent
A court in the United Kingdom refused to remove an arbitrator for perceived bias where the arbitrator was appointed to arbitrate multiple disputes arising from the same underlying incident triggering insurance coverage.
Drone use is on the rise. Private individuals and commercial companies are finding new and varied applications for the technology, from Amazon's ‘flying warehouse' to Lady Gaga's drone-propelled American flag at the Superbowl.
Ben Crook and Neil Beresford are holding a Breakfast Briefing on Wednesday 26 April 2017 to highlight for insurers the issues arising and practical steps needed in advance of the introduction of a new right for insureds to claim damages...
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