Aviva has won low speed whiplash claim which was rejected by a judge in court. The judge ruled that the claim was "fundamentally dishonest" and, in one of the first cases of its kind since new rules were introduced since April 2013, the claimant was ordered to pay the costs for defending the case.
In the case of Andrew Fish v Patrick Hillman, the Judge dismissed the claim after finding the claimant to be an "inconsistent and dishonest witness" and agreed that the exception to the usual costs rule would be applied and an order against the claimant to the full extent of Aviva's costs was made.
The insurer said that this was Aviva's 216th trial win this year defending exaggerated low speed whiplash claims, and brings the total savings from fighting these claims to nearly £50m since
Howard Grand, head of legal, Aviva UK&I general insurance, welcomed the decision. He said: "This important case serves as a clear warning to those considering submitting exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims: Aviva will support its customers in challenging these claims, and is increasingly successful in doing so.
"As this case highlights, claimants quite rightly risk having to pay the costs associated with bringing fundamentally dishonest claims.
Grand said Aviva had upped its fight against spurious low speed whiplash claims and warned that, if this type of claim is not tackled, customers could risk losing their no claims discount.
He revealed that Aviva is winning three out of the four cases it challenges but said more should be done to deter people from making this type of claim.
Grand added: "Whiplash claims cost £2bn a year, or around £90 on every motorist's premium, and these low-speed, short-term injury claims account for around half of all whiplash claims.
"Aviva believes these claims- where they are legitimate- are best treated with rehabilitation, not cash compensation. This will help the genuine injured party return to health while cutting the cost of motor insurance by at least £32 for everyone."
Aviva has been working with Horwich Farrelly Solicitors since 2005 to challenge spurious, low speed whiplash claims.
Jared Mallinson, partner at Horwich Farrelly, commented: "This case in particular is highly encouraging as the judiciary has shown it is prepared to find "fundamental dishonesty", which allows for the recovery of costs from such claimants, in appropriate cases. This is a significant deterrent in the motor insurance industry's fight against fraud and exaggerated whiplash claims."
Thank you all for the interest shown in the renovated JCB and the new/old renovated JCB 3CX for this year, 2014, will be added soon, however attached are two other projects, the Fire Engine carried out in 1998 and “Grey Fergie” in 2008.
Wayne’s 2013 JCB Project which he restored cosmetically during 2013 with mechanical help from Engineers at Hamstead Plant Ltd, and transportation from Machinery Installations (Birmingham) Ltd., another is being lined up for 2014 !
“Having WEATHERED all the storms since 2009 including the particular bad one in February 2011, the strong gale force winds during the early hours of Sunday 22nd December 2013 has finally destroyed Wayne’s greenhouse!”
This article appeared on the BBC News website on 16th August 2013.
The original article appears at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23717575
Warning over 'flash-for-cash' car accident insurance scam By Richard Westcott
BBC transport correspondent
Motorists are being warned about a new insurance scam where criminals flash their lights to let other drivers out of a junction, then crash into them on purpose.
Anti-fraud experts are calling it "flash-for-cash".
The gangs tend to target new, smarter vehicles or vulnerable road users, including older people and women with children in the car.
The scam is costing insurers hundreds of millions of pounds every year.
It is a new tactic for an already well established crime, called "crash for cash", where criminals slam on the brakes for no reason so that the victim drives into the back of their car.
Police investigators said the criminals will often remove the bulbs in their brake lights so other road users don't know they're stopping.
However, "flash-for-cash" is more crafty, because it is harder to prove in court, often coming down to the innocent driver's word against the criminal's that they flashed their lights to let them out.
Each "accident" can net the gangs tens of thousands of pounds in a variety of ways.
Firstly, they put in false personal injury claims for whiplash, sometimes including claims for people who were not even in the car. Added to that, they might charge the insurance company for loss of earnings, then they put in fake bills for vehicle storage, recovery, repairs, and replacement car hire.
Detective Inspector Dave Hindmarsh from the Metropolitan Police is an expert at catching them out. He says this kind of crime costs the industry a fortune and, as ever, it's the honest, insurance-paying motorist who is footing the bill,
"The problem is a growing problem. Financially it costs insurers £392m a year - that impacts on motorists as it's an extra £50 to £100 on every person's premium so that's a financial cost.
"[There are] emotional costs [as] if you're involved in a crash you could well lose your confidence, and if your passengers are children they may well become wary of being passengers in cars, and of course you may get injured or killed."
This latest "flash-for-cash" warning has come from Asset Protection Unit (APU), a company which helps the police and the insurance industry investigate fraud. Neil Thomas at APU says the criminals pick on people who are not going to put up a fight,
"Perhaps single females in the car with children in the back, perhaps doing the school run. Where they know there's going to be no resistance, no real argument at the scene. The children are going to be upset".
Generally speaking, drivers are not meant to flash their lights to let people out onto busy roads. It is meant to be used as a warning.
The Highway Code says: "Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully."
However, the reality is that most people do use it as a friendly gesture, and law-abiding motorists feel it's a shame that something that is meant to be so positive, a rare show of good manners on the road, is now being abused by criminals.
The police and fraud experts believe that by raising awareness, and making people more wary, there is a good chance many drivers won't take the bait when the criminals lay a trap.
According to a recent survey.
“These days most businesses rely heavily upon computer based systems to operate and, whilst the use of technology is useful, a failure in systems can have a dramatic effect on the day to day operations of a business. Indeed, an I.T. failure can effectively paralyse a company!
Most failures occur due to a software or hardware fault and can usually be rectified by a competent I.T. Specialist. But, what if the failure of your systems is caused by a concerted Cyber Attack? What would you do? How would the business survive?
Let’s face it - Cyber threats sit at the heart of world we operate in. Cyber-crime has become a fact of life. And the threat can come in any number of guises. Whether Data theft, hacking, denial of service, Ddos attacks or another new threat – action needs to be taken!
There is no doubt that the risk of cyber-attack in today’s modern world is a very real threat.
There’s only so much your IT department can do to prevent cyber criminals. The fact is that hackers are some of the most devious people on the planet and they don’t even need to be that intelligent to cause significant harm, disruption or financial loss to your business.
The motivation for an individual to carry out such an attack is highly varied. It can range from full blown fraud right through to cyber vandalism. The attack may be perpetrated by a known individual or by a stranger. The attack can come from within your organisation or from the outside world.
Whatever the motivation and wherever the threat comes from it is clear that - Businesses face serious threats from cyber criminals. And, in order to combat this ever increasing problem, senior management needs to take these risks more seriously!
Every day, across the Globe, countless I.T. systems are under attack or compromised. It may be a hacker who compromises your systems, simply because they can, or a hacker who is out to steal your money or business secrets.
So ask yourself as a Senior Manager, Director or Business Owner do I need insurance to cover my business from a cyber attack?
Maybe you should ask yourself these questions:
What would a serious cyber security incident cost my organisation?
What if my business is hit by a cyber-criminal and I cannot trade?
How could my brand recover if I lose my customers private information?
Is my business ready to handle a cyber-security incident?
We must take responsible action, as Senior Managers, Directors or Business Owners, to protect our businesses by effectively and proactively addressing this serious and tangible risk to our originations.
To help alleviate any fears that you may have we have sourced specialist insurance that can effectively cover against financial loss as a result of these risks. Why not contact us (Using the contact page details) for a Free and No Obligation discussion on what is available and how it can help you.
We look forward to hearing from you!
On 1 July 2012, France implemented a new law that requires all drivers to carry a Norme Francaised certified alcohol breathalyzer in their motor vehicle.
This new rule applies to all drivers, regardless of nationality, and all motor vehicles including rental cars. There will be a limited grace period that will last until 1 November 2012, after which it will become mandatory.
Are there any exemptions?
Only riders on motorcycles with 2 or 3 wheels and an engine that does not exceed 50cc, and drivers of vehicles already equipped with a breathalyzer immobilizer (including drivers of passenger transport), are exempt from this requirement.
I’m one of the 300,000 strong on line community of FairFuelUK. Last week, we pulled off what many people thought was ‘impossible’ – we stopped the 3p per litre August fuel duty hike. FairFuelUK need a million supporters signed up at www.fairfueluk.com to fight even harder for a better deal on petrol & diesel.
Please help them to help us by simply signing up (it’s free and takes about 20 seconds) and forward this to as many contacts as you can urging them to sign up and forward on. The more that sign up, the more we can achieve…..
The FairFuelUK campaign is backed by the RAC, the RHA, the FTA and The Fuelcard Company
It is a condition precedent to the liability of the Insurer under Material Damage and Business Interruption/Loss of Income Sections that all Electrical Circuits are inspected and tested by a member of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting at least once every three years and all remedial works arising out of the inspection and test to be completed within the timescale agreed with Insurers and a record of such inspections and tests should be kept and retained by the Policyholder to be available for inspection by Insurers should they require it.
This is becoming increasingly important and we strongly recommend that you do have your Electrical System at your premises tested.
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Insurance Age has teamed up with Brit Insurance in a special three part video to analyse the actions brokers need to take now to deal with the upcoming regime changes in the motor fleet sector.
By September 2013, bus and coach drivers will need to have passed their mandatory Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) while lorry and HGV drivers have an extra year to complete the course.
Brokers can play a key role in raising awareness of the change and making sure clients are compliant, With over 500,000 HGV drivers alone needing to be trained, brokers should look to avoid the headache of a training bottleneck and the worst case scenario of fleet firms being left with untrained drivers.
On the video panel John Davidge. technical consultant, Cardinus Risk Management; Andy Keane, UK motor portfolio manager, Brit Insurance; and Andrew Watson, director, GS Corporate Risk Services, discuss the consequences for a business if drivers have not passed their CPC and look at the current uptake of training and the capacity to meet demand. The experts also look at the benefits of seeking early compliance coupled with how to manage resources between now and the deadline, given drivers need to do 35 hours training each to pass the CPC, You can view the video at www.insuranceage.co.uk/2126975.
Nationwide Riots August 2011 - Riot claims reporting lines
Following the rioting across the UK we’d just like to reassure you that Aviva’s claims centres of excellence have teams of experts ready to manage any claims arising and we’re working closely with our loss adjusters and suppliers to support our policyholders.
If you need any further assistance or clarification please speak to your usual points of contact within the claims centres.
If you think you’ll have any clients affected in any way we’d just like to remind you of what’s needed. With this type of claim there are specific time lines to meet for insurers to be reimbursed by the local police authority.
The local police authority has a legal responsibility to reimburse anyone sustaining damage to property as the result of a riot under the Riot Damages Act 1886. Any claim under the Act must ‘’be made in writing and received by the local police authority within 14 days of the alleged incident”.
Insurers typically include within their Claims Notification Clause to the policy a requirement for any claim for riot and/or civil commotion to be notified to Insurers immediately with full supporting documentation. This needs to be received within seven days of the incident occurring specifically to prevent a recovery action being turned down by the police authority on basis that the action is time barred. Insurers are entitled to recover their outlays under the principle of subrogation.
Anyone claiming needs to be aware that they must notify their Insurers immediately of any damage but equally important is that they must be able to quantify and substantiate their losses with potentially both a schedule of loss and statement of truth within a week of the incident occurring.
The Act excludes liability for loss or damage to cars left on public highways, goods left in shops for repair and/or consequential losses. Also all claims will be assessed in accordance with common law, which may not correlate directly to the basis of settlement provided for by the insurance contract.
Any brokers operating with Delegated Authority claims need to comply with this and not just rely on submission under the bordereau arrangement.
Issued for use by Insurance Intermediaries only. This information has not been approved for use with customers.
We recently received the following from a grateful client. We do try to give ALL of our clients the very best of service but it really is nice to get feedback. Our client wrote the following:-
Ref- Vehicle accident in Scotland
I should like to express my gratitude for your efficiency, reassurance and support following my vehicle accident yesterday in Scotland; it was like having a friend on my shoulder (albeit at the other end of the phone) at what was a very stressful, and hopefully never to be repeated, experience.
I saw the vehicle at Solus, Cumbernauld, today and it is possible that a tyre puncture may have resulted in the loss of control. The staff at Solus, Cumbernauld, were also brilliant and I shall be writing to them in acknowledgement of their role.
Once again Wayne, many thanks,
(Name and Address Supplied)
Take precautions to protect your property against the windy storms we have recently experienced – see Wayne’s green house below !
As you have all no doubt experienced problems during this most recent spell of bad weather, we are very pleased to report out of almost 1000 commercial vehicles we insure on behalf of our customers throughout the U.K., we have received only ten claims notifications which we believe is excellent and a credit to you all.
Congratulations to you and your drivers.
However, as the bad weather is likely to continue for the foreseeable future please ensure you all remain vigilant and careful in these difficult conditions.
Remember “The better claims experience equals lower Insurance premiums”
29 November, 2010
Apprentice host Lord Sugar hits out at "vulture-type" lawyers
Lord Sugar has backed Lord Young's plans to reduce aggressive no-win no-fee advertising in the UK.
During a debate on Lord Young of Graffham's review of health and safety legislation in the House of Lords last week, Lord Sugar stuck the sword into "claims management companies" when discussing the compensation culture.
He said: "They advertise on TV implying that they can get consumers substantial amounts of money for injuries that they have sustained. To add insult to injury, some of them are simply brokers who sell their inquiries on to solicitors; they are not solicitors themselves. I point out here that National Accident Helpline is not one of those organisations.
"The legal system in this country was one that we could be proud of compared to the ambulance-chasing activities of our cousins in the United States. However, since, I believe, 1999, it has been possible for lawyers here to work on a contingency basis offering a no-win no-fee basis to their clients. While this change had some genuine and positive merit in assisting deserved causes, like all things it has been exploited in most cases to bring derisory claims against companies."
"The issue concerns claims from a certain breed of people, some of whom have had the seed of an idea to make a claim planted in their minds from those terrible adverts that they see on TV. The mechanism, as I am sure your Lordships will know, is that the client becomes somewhat irrelevant in the overall scheme of things. The client is simply a catalyst among the solicitors, the claim management companies and the new breed of litigation insurers. It is the client from whom these people make their money. Once equipped with a client, these people become a massive thorn in the side of companies that have substantial assets or their own indemnity insurance. I do not wish to get into too much detail on what contingency lawyers charge, but it is near to outrageous that they can in some cases get double their normal fee."
He continued: "However, most claims end up being settled by negotiation. Despite knowing that the claim is derisory, companies recognise that to defend it fully will cost a lot and those costs are not recoverable on victory, as the plaintiff usually has no assets. Commercial decisions are made by defending companies that have learnt that fighting on principle is simply bad for the balance sheet.
"The new breed of these-I am sorry to call them this-vulture-type lawyers knows this only too well, as do some insurers. It is almost a licence to print money if you can convince a member of the public to make a claim. I have even heard of members of the public being paid a modest fee of, say, £500 up front if they agree to become a plaintiff.
"Something has to be done about these rogues. The Government should, first, examine what the Advertising Standards Authority can do. I am sure that, if they so desire, they can tighten up the regulations as to what promises can be made and make advertisers issue warnings in the advert to the effect that they are not lawyers and that bringing false claims is an offence. Perhaps, more importantly, there needs to be reform in the law.
"The Law Society needs to clamp down on some of these unethical lawyers and set some examples. Dare I suggest that, if it was ever possible to make those lawyers responsible themselves to pay for abortive costs when they lose a derisory claim, it would, I can assure your Lordships, kill off this industry in one fell swoop?"