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ABI launches ‘Support for Customers with Road Traffic Injuries: The ABI Code’

The ABI has launched a Code of Practice today to ensure that the interests of customers with a personal injury claim are protected. This follows the liberalisation of law practice ownership as brought in by the Legal Services Act and the reforms to the civil justice system introduced last year.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 introduced reform aimed at ensuring speedy access to justice for personal injury claimants at a proportionate cost.

To ensure that customers with personal injury claims are properly supported following these reforms, insurers have developed industry-wide standards to help strike the right balance between customers' legal rights and their ability to file a claim within a system that does not encourage speculative and exaggerated claims.

Under the Code, insurers will:

  • Ensure that policyholders wishing to claim are made aware of their options when considering appointing a legal services provider, including any links the insurer may have with a recommended provider, and the customer's right to choose their own.
  • Not to apply, or use firms who may apply, pressure on customers to claim, for example through cold calls.
  • Not share customers' personal information with another party knowing that it will be used to encourage the customer to claim when the customer has already said that they would not be pursuing a claim.
  • Ask customers if they have legal expenses insurance, or other funding arrangements that may cover the cost of claiming.
  • Aim to resolve claims wherever possible through the Claims Portal (which  covers personal injury claims up to £25,000)
  • Ensure that any third parties they may arrange or recommend to handle a claim do not increase legal costs for the at-fault insurer. 

Paul Evans, Chairman of ABI's General Insurance Council Management Committee, said:

"Insurers campaigned over many years for much-needed reforms to the civil justice system, and remain committed to paying fair compensation to genuinely injured claimants as quickly as possible. This Code  - which insurers initiated and drafted - helps to ensure that both the letter and the spirit of these reforms are embedded into the insurance industry's everyday practice. It will help give customers the confidence that, in the new civil justice environment, the priority for insurers remains delivering the best outcomes for genuinely injured customers." 

Steve White, BIBA's Chief Executive, said:

"We welcome the launch of the ABI's Code of Practice. It should help to keep costs down for innocent motorists and make the claims process as smooth and clear to the customer as possible, along with removing any unnecessary stress."

 The code is available on the ABI site at: https://www.abi.org.uk/RTACode

Last updated 01/07/2016