Car Insurance

AXA takes a stand against compensation culture

Yet more on the spaghetti neck epidemic that threatens to leave the motorists of the UK with wobbly heads and the insurance industry broke.

AXA has become the first major insurer to come out and refuse “acceptance fees” from personal injury lawyers. According to chief exec Paul Evans, “It is unfair and unsustainable that drivers are being disadvantaged by exaggerated injury claims which drive up the cost of insurance. I believe this move will be a positive first step in making the system more equitable and ultimately, benefit customers through more affordable motor premiums”.

The cost of personal injury claims has doubled in the last 10 years, something that many see as directly attributable to these referral fees (from £200 to £1,000 per case).

Driving abroad? Make sure you have the right level of cover

Continuing this week’s theme of travel insurance and being prepared, some new research highlights a major misunderstanding when it comes to driving abroad.

Apparently one third of British motorists assume that if they have a fully comprehensive policy here in the UK this means that they have a fully comprehensive policy when they take their car overseas. Not so. Particularly if you are insured with Churchill, esure, Direct Line or the RAC.

What many UK motorists don’t realise is that many car insurance policies automatically downgrade to the bare legal minimum cover when the car leaves UK soil. It’s Ok if you know the risks but many of us fail to read the small print of our policies and face massive bills when the worst happens.

So, what to do? Well firstly, read the small print. If you’re not provided with fully comprehensive cover, call your provider and see if you can upgrade and add international cover to your policy. If not – take a look at alternatives, if you travel abroad frequently make sure you mention this to your broker when you come to renew the policy. In the long term a few extra pounds on your premium can end up saving thousands.

Insurance fraud levels out – latest CIFA figures

2010 was a bad year for the fraudsters according to the latest “Fraudscape” reports issued by CIFAS.

The number of false (detected) insurance claims dropped in 2010 – mainly due to a massive reduction in the number of fraudulent home insurance claims, down by 41% year on year.

It’s not all good news though. Fraudsters are getting more organised. One tactic that is gaining popularity is “staged events” – up from 35% to 42% in 2010. By this they mean staged motor accidents, or “cash for crash” as it’s known.

CIFAS points to the large network of dodgy professionals; solicitors, claims firms, even doctors who back up this sort of organised fraud.