Insurers taken to court over claims conduct.November 26, 2014
Personal injury specialists Gavin Edmonson have appealed against the decision that an insurance company’s direct contact and subsequent settlement with their clients was lawful.
The clients’ information was taken from the Road Traffic Accident portal, where their cases had been registered by the solicitors that they had instructed. Haven Insurance then approached the clients, and settled the claims with them directly.
It is questionable whether or not the direct offer of compensation was a misuse of information, but in September, the court was content that the claims were settled to the satisfaction of the clients, and ruled the use of the clients’ information to be lawful.
The Portal Behaviour Committee have previously announced that there should be no direct contact with a claimant after their details have been entered into the system. Haven effectively side-stepped the solicitors entirely, as the clients settled with the insurers and did not pay any solicitors costs, despite the clients having signed conditional fee arrangements.
The hearing is scheduled to begin in the New Year, and will determine whether or not Haven Insurance acted unlawfully. The use of information was common practice for the insurance company between 2009 and 2012, meaning that hundreds of claims could be affected by the outcome of the case.
Anthony McCarthy, Director Solicitor at Macks says “Injured people need advice from qualified lawyers if they are to be properly compensated. It is hoped that the Court of Appeal will reinforce that message when they hear this case”
Source: The Law Society Gazette