Opinion Former Article

ABI: Government personal injury reform proposals are a missed opportunity

The Government's long-awaited proposals for reform of personal injury compensation fail to grasp the need for radical reform, the ABI (Association of British Insurers) and the EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said today. Both organisations had made detailed proposals to speed up and simplify the current system.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI's Director General, said:

"The goal of reform must be a better deal for claimants. These proposals can only be the start of a programme of much-needed reform. Many claimants will remain stuck in a slow, complex and expensive system, that denies them speedy compensation and care. Even the motor reforms do not go far enough, and will only have a small impact on the 10% of motor insurance premiums that are swallowed up in legal costs. And the exclusion of workplace-related claims, which take on average three years to settle, is illogical and bizarre. Trade union pressure must not be allowed to block change."

Gary Booton, EEF Director of Health, Safety & Environment, said:
"By not going far enough in reforming the current system the cost of settling claims will remain excessive. The opportunity was there with these reforms to put in place a system which would see the speedy and efficient settlement of claims. Today's announcement serves neither the employer or the employee."

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:
Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)
Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)
Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)
Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

2. The ABI is the trade association for Britain's insurance industry. Its nearly 400 member companies provide over 94% of the insurance business in the UK. It represents insurance companies to the Government, and to the regulatory and other agencies, and is an influential voice on public policy and financial services issues. ABI member companies hold up to a sixth of all investments traded on the London Stock Exchange, on behalf of millions of pensioners and savers.

3. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

Copies of all ABI news releases, together with other information from the Association, can be seen on our website http://www.abi.org.uk

More Articles by Association of British Insurers (ABI) ...

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