Know How: insurers operate
Haven Insurance have been in the news this past week over their practices in some personal injury cases.
Six clients in 2012 had instructed solicitors to deal with their car accident. The clients had sustained injury and their solicitors had submitted a claim to Haven Insurance making a claim for damage.
It seems that the insurers had gone behind the backs of the solicitors and approached each client directly and persuaded them to accept an amount of compensation quickly so the insurance company did not have to pay the solicitors fees.
A patently underhand tactic – and one that is unheard of in the writer’s view – it meant that each clients injuries were not investigated and they did not receive any advice on whether the amount of compensation they accepted was appropriate for those injuries.
It probably lead to those clients settling their claim for less compensation than they should had the injury and any resultant losses been investigated properly by their solicitor.
There are data protection issues at hand here as the insurers used the information submitted by the solicitors to contact the clients direct. The case is currently going to the Court of Appeal and will likely be heard in the New Year.
Interestingly, had a fellow solicitor tried to circumnavigate an opposing solicitor and contact the client direct there would likely be successful breach of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Conduct Rules that govern all solicitors. A very serious matter might we assure you.
But with insurers? Well, it seems that they have less interest in the right way to approach such matters. The Association of British Insurers has a voluntary code of conduct for its members but it seems that this is little more than guidance. Make no mistake: only money matters to insurers.
Our advice is to always trust your specialist personal injury solicitor. He or she will always be able to give you appropriate advice on any offers to settle your claim or action by insurers.
We hope this is clear but if you wish to discuss this article then please contact us.