Personal injury lawyers say that the ABI code review ignores practical obstacles
The Association of British Insurers' (ABI) code was launched in 1999 under the Department for Work and Pensions.
This followed a review of Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) which found that some employees suffering from industrial diseases and personal injuries suffered in an industrial accident could not trace their employers' insurance policy.
Inability to trace an employer's insurance policy would mean that personal injury compensation claims would be affected.
Vice president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers Martin Bare said at the time that the code was a "step in the right direction" but that "there would not be any significant improvement unless a centralised system was put in place, similar to the Motor Insurance Bureau."
ELCI only became compulsory in 1972 and insurers were initially unable to trace policies for the relevant employer in 25 per cent of cases referred to them after the Code was introduced. The result of this was personal injury compensation claims.
The success rate peaked to 42 per cent in 2002, only to fall to 23 per cent in 2005. While the ABI says that the success rate has stabilised, it has in fact fallen to its lowest level and 77 per cent of claims remain unsolved.
Personal injury lawyers say that the ABI code review still ignores many practical obstacles and that further action still needs to be taken to protect consumer and employee rights and secure valid personal injury compensation claims.
What is the ABI?
The ABI represents the collective interests of the UK's insurance industry. The Association speaks out on issues of common interest, helps to inform and participate in debates on public policy issues and also acts as an advocate for high standards of customer service in the insurance industry.
The Association has around 400 companies in its membership and between them, they provide 94 per cent of domestic insurance services sold in the UK. ABI member companies account for 20 per cent of investments in the London stock market.
The Association was formed in 1985 when a number of existing industry bodies joined together, notably the British Insurance Association, the Life Offices' Association, the Fire Offices' Committee and the Accident Offices' Association. Read more at www.abi.org.uk.
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