So the OFT has finally decided that there may be a wee bit of trouble with the insurance industry resulting in the investigation by the competition commission. For many of us who have felt the frustration of trying to get a decent quote and not be stung by continually higher premiums this will be welcome. It is estimated that insurance premiums will rise by over £200 million this year so the fact that there could be a release on the insurance monopoly will almost definitely lead to more competitive insurance premiums in future.
Having just insured a car for my teenage daughter I am now acutely aware (if I wasn’t before) of the mortgage payment that it cost me and am therefore not surprised that many people who can’t afford to insure themselves don’t bother, take the risk and drive uninsured which then leads to premiums going up as a result of extra claims.
I had a minor shunt a few months ago, me being in the middle of a 3 car concertina. Anyway there was minimal damage but the guy in the front car started rubbing his neck when the police showed up (who knows why they were called). The police officer rolled his eyes at me and whispered “whipcash”. Says it all really.
It also doesn’t help when you get the ambulance chasers calling you trying to encourage you to go for compensation for injury when none existed. I was astounded recently when I got a random call from a call centre in Liverpool asking me about another very minor non fault collision that happened a year ago (I’m not accident prone honest but when you do as much driving in as many different cars as I do then obviously the odds to go up!). She asked if I’d sustained any injury and, if so, did I know I could pursue a claim for damages from the other driver’s insurers even after such a long time had elapsed.
I was fairly shocked this sort of practice is happening but even more so when I explained that the collision had been so minor it had been no more than 5mph and therefore I could not possibly have been injured, she went into some well-rehearsed spiel about spinal or neck injuries that could come to light after the event having been triggered by the accident and that I could get up to £3k in compo.
I of course told her in no uncertain terms that this is not morally right and that if this sort of practice is widespread it will only inevitably lead to higher premiums due to spurious claims. Which leads us neatly to why I have just had to pay the national debt of a small third world country for an insurance policy which covers my daughter, and so the circle becomes ever more vicious!