Insurance scam?

I had an off 2 weeks ago, resulting in a double fracture of my elbow. A car didn’t see me and just turned across me. First time in 10 years I’ve needed my insurance, but since the other driver hasn’t accepted responsibility, it’s now being dealt with by our insurers and solicitors.

Phew, glad I’ve been paying for legal protection cover for all those years. But now my claim is being dealt with by a ‘no win-no fee’ company, as they proudly tell me on every call. WTF?? From the beginning I asked my insurer if I could chose which solicitors would represent me, but they said no, you have legal protection which covers you to use our ‘appointed solicitors’ only.

That seems wrong to me. Anyone else had experience of this?

That is bollox… You can choose whoever you wish to represent you. Its a bit like in football if the manager is sh!t he gets sacked.

In regards to liability, its the norm that nobody wants to admit liability until they are forced to. Don’t worry about it.

You will have to look at your policy, however, if it is no win no fee, then I don’t see what benefit using legal cover is anyway, and therefore you could just use any no win no fee company.

Yeah, that’s what I mean Kaos. Why pay the extra premium to be covered for legal expenses when I have to use a no win-no fee firm? Unless it’s there to pay the other party’s legal expenses, but aren’t they covered under the basic policy…I dunno, will read the policy tonight.

Cheers Daniel, they may be getting the boot soon.

Who’s the specialist bike accident solicitors that everyone always recommends on here?

they love selling “legal protection” to us as it makes the sales person commission… but as Dan says its bollox :slight_smile:

Talk to T.C. on here. He’s superb (I speak from personal experience).

As Simon says TC is wicked… I’ve used Dunne and Gray twice and both times achieved superb results. One of my claims I was very doubtful that I’d win but they pulled it out of the bag.

Awesome! Cheers for the advice boys, will read my policy tonight then hit T.C. up for some advice tomorrow.

Or just give TC your paperwork and he’ll work his magic :wink:

An interesting subject, usual disclaimer, not a lawyer, read wiki, just a dumb biker, blar blar.

On the face of it, whenever you usea solicitor you pay a fee, but I think the relevant point here with no win no fee is how a fee is calculated after the win because usual format is to have the judge award costs from the other side. But in some no win no fee situations the solicitors also claim a fee based on your compensation win, (legally) up to the regular amount they charge as basic fees, so see it as a bonus on what you win for themselves.

So the warning here is rather than getting 100% of the compensation award, you might get less than 100% as (some) solicitors get their cut of your compensation too. Not all no win no fee businesses do this, and some no win no fees businesses charge excessive hourly rates to force an early settlement. This higher hour rate might not benefit you if that settlement looks good to get a fast settlement but is less than the average sum.

So what happens at the payment stages depends on the contract between solicitor and insurer, as I presume you never get to view it?

Oh and its not a scam as the insurers could claim they did the leg work to get the solicitor saving you time and money, but costing them a wage or you a fee. Legal shenanigans,but would you expect anything else?

No win no fee doesn’t cost you anything regardless if you win or loose… If you win you will have a huge bill which will be added to your claim. They can invoice me for as much as they like as I won’t be the one paying it.

The real scam is that “NWNF” solicitors buy cases off the insurance companies so they are probably paying your insurance company the same or more than you paid them for your iffy legal protection to start with.

This scam runs parallel to the “courtesy car/bike” scam where the insurance company chosen provider of the vehicle is pretty much allowed to write his own rental rate and the longer the repair to your vehicle takes, the more the hire charges get racked up.

One of the reasons why insurance company “approved repairers”, who are paying to be on the approval list, aren’t exactly busting a gut to get your vehicle turned around quickly.

But. Aren’t the insurance company paying out huge amounts they could avoid? Well, sort of. But they expect to be able to reclaim all of that from the third party so the claim gets racked up hugely.

Net result? Your (and everyone else’s) insurance premiums escalate year on year.

The whole industry is corrupt and rotten and it’s high time it was thoroughly investigated and overhauled.

There have been a few changes recently as a result of some court cases, where it has been determined that even though someone may have legal expenses insurance, the LEI providers cannot dictate that the policy holder must use one of their panel solicitors.

By and large, legal expenses insurance is a waste of money and allows the insurers to make more money. If you have an accident that is your fault, then that is what your insurance is for and will cover the third party costs. If it is not your fault, then you can get proper legal representation under a no win no fee agreement (Conditional Fee agreement is its proper name) and it does exactly what it says on the tin. If you win you keep 100% of your compensation, and your solicitor will claim their costs from the other side, if you lose, your solicitor will have taken out what is called After the Event Insurance (ATE) which protects you from any nasty costs but it means that your solicitor gets paid nothing other than the cost of the disbursements they had to pay to run your case

Much of the bad reputation gained by no win no fee agreements is due to many of the claims management firms acting as ambulance chasers, and then once they have got you on board sell your claim to one of their tame law firms who are desperate for the business but who in return pay quite a large referral fee, which from next year will be outlawed meaning that many of these claims management firms will go out of business.

Many claims firms do not carry out proper risk assessments, which also applies to many of the panel solicitors, but it also means that you end up being put on the conveyor belt and you become a number rather than an individual, and you will very rarely speak to the same person twice, and then it will usually be a paralegal or legal exec.

As mentioned one of the biggest scams is in respect of hire bikes. I have seen cases where the rider has severe injuries, is unlikely to ride for several months, but lo and behold, within 24 hours a hire bike arrives and the costs start mounting from day 1.

Most riders are not aware that they are signing a personal finance agreement, often because they are in pain or morphined up they think they are just signing to take delivery, and then when it comes to settle the case, the courts have recently accepted challenges by the third party that they should noot be required to pay several thousand pounds worth of hire bike charges when they clearly could not ride.

The courts have accepted this, struck several months of charges out of the schedule of costs, leaving the rider personally liable for the balance outstanding which then has to come out of his/her compensation.

That is a particularly bad and common scam.

However, if they had ascertained the severity of the injuries and proper injuries case manager appointed, then a suitable vehicle could be arranged which would result in no argument as it would be appropriate.

A proper law firm regulated by the Law Society under a no win no fee offers you far more protection as there is a comeback if they do not represent you properly, you can also change solicitors easily, unlike claims management firms who are by and large unregulated and you have no redress in the circumstances mentioned above.

And what is particularly worrying is that last year, ABS (Alternative Business Solutions) was introduced who are allowed to set up a legal practice and represent clients even though they probably have no qualifications or experience in the field, so for example these claims management firms, conveyancers, will writing firms can all set up providing it does not involve litigation, so for example you cannot have an ABS doing criminal law.

It is what has become known in the trade as Tesco Law as the like of Tesco are in the process of setting up their own legal practice, so you go shopping for your groceries and get legal advice at the same time.

On top of this, how many panel law firms actually understand the dynamics of riding a motorcycle or know the difference between a GSXR1000 or a Blade or as Gold Wing?

So the bottom line is that even if you have legal expenses insurance you can still choose the solicitor or law firm you want to represent you, and even if you have legal expenses insurance and the provider will not agree to you choosing your own solicitor, once they have made that statement, then the law firm can put you onto a CFA anyway as your solicitor will have done everything reasonable to justify why they have put you onto a no win no fee rather than using LEI (Hope that makes sense)

Anyway, hope this clarifies things a bit.

Make perfect sense.

So there are ways out for those few in the know and for the rest (majority), they will get screwed?

Yup. Sounds just like the insurance industry I think corrupt and overdue for deep investigation.