ABI accused of ‘breathtaking hypocrisy’ after reports of inflated repair bills surface in the media
Access to Justice (A2J) has accused the ABI of ‘breathtaking hypocrisy’ after the insurance industry body refused to condemn what A2J spokesperson Andrew Twambley called “dodgy repair practices” which are passed on to motorists in the form of higher premiums.
Mr Twambley, whose organisation is campaigning against the government’s proposed reforms to personal injury compensation, was responding to reports in the Daily Telegraph* that motor insurers routinely take kick-backs from vehicle repairers and that ‘inflated repair bills and secret rebates could also be a factor behind soaring premiums.’
The Telegraph estimated the practice could be worth as much as £750m a year, equivalent to around 5 per cent of the UK’s 34 million drivers’ annual insurance premiums.
Twambley said: “Confused.com* calculated the average car insurance premium at £847 in Q2 2017, which means insurers could be holding back a potential saving of £42. That £750m will be going straight into the pockets of shareholders and insurance bosses’ pay packets, and the hard-pressed motorist is paying for it.”
Twambley explained that insurers are lobbying hard for whiplash reforms which A2J claims could deny 600,000 people injured in minor accidents every year the opportunity to gain redress for their injuries. The government estimates the saving from its proposed reforms to be £35.
“On the one hand the ABI wants to deny ordinary people their rights for the sake of a £35 saving, but on the other they refuse to hand back £40 to motorists from their dodgy repair practices,” said Twambley.
Mr Twambley agreed with MP Kit Malthouse that the Competition Authorities should investigate inflated repair bills as a matter of urgency. “The ABI blames anything and anyone but their own member companies for the rising cost of premiums, and it is high time they are held to account.”
A2J represents the interests of the public and is supported by the broader personal injury (PI) sector. Its prime focus is to respond to the government’s proposed road traffic accident compensation reforms. A2J provides a cohesive voice to fight these proposed draconian measures; it will work with the government and other interested parties to create sensible, balanced alternatives which protect individuals’ rights, while addressing the government’s concerns, particularly in relation to claims fraud.
For more information please contact: Ben Welsh 07568 382040