“Tactical” £150 fixed portal fee proposal leaked

Published: 10/05/2012

An email detailing a tactical proposal by the insurance industry regarding a £150 fixed fee for low value personal injury claims has been leaked.

The communication was rumoured to be sent by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Assistant Head of Motor and Liability, James Dalton to members of the ABI and suggests a ‘tactical steer’ to set limits for the RTA portal.

It goes on to ask the General Insurance Council committee to use the £150 figure as a ‘negotiating tactic’ as it expects the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will ‘inevitably set a number higher than that’.

Upon hearing the news, Co-ordinator of the Access for Justice Action Group and Solicitor, Andrew Dismore has accused the insurance industry as attempting to oust solicitors from the claims process:

“They are playing a cynical and duplicitous game with the MoJ even though they get what they want anyway.

“The ABI want to drive any professionalism out of legal services and turn it into a tick box exercise. Their ultimate aim is third-party capture and before-the-event insurance driving independent advice out of the market.”

Dalton claims the figure has derived after cost consultations investigated the work conducted by claimant law firms when processing low-value claims through the portal, considering staff salaries and overheads.

A spokesperson for the ABI commented:

“We have long argued that the current £1200 fee is far too high and needs to be slashed if we are to be able to reduce car insurance premiums for customers.

“We are considering a number of options as part of our response to the consultation and this should not come as a surprise. And these are just options amongst a range of others we are considering before we finalise our response and provide it to the MoJ.”¹

¹Law Gazette (May 2012)

Content correct at time of publication

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