As if we hadn’t enough to worry about with the wurzels racking up huge claims to refurb their flooded hovels, those oikies at This is Money went and blew the whistle on the staff who were trying their best to make amends for the alleged underpayment of nearly 800,000 villagers who parked their life savings with us.
Apparently our chaps have been a tad slow in dealing with the matter and it’s taken seven years to reimburse £163 million to around 390,000 of these coves. We’ve now had to promise (cross heart hope to die and all that) to deal with the other half in record time – have it all tidied up by the end of next year and what not.
I’m not really au fait with all this technological mumbo-jumbo but Lady Geek-Geek, as Higson and I refer to her (sotto voce of course) has been on that interweb thingy and found the gruesome detail
Anyway, one’s tucked away just under a third of a mill to cover these claims which are reported to have occurred because of ‘technical errors’ we’re said to have known about since 2007!
The bewigged ones just won’t leave it alone of course, forever whining about the new ABS project even though it’s perfectly legit. They will harp on about it being all MI6 and “behind closed doors”.
Now Old Aunty’s been rummaging through the dirt and produced this report featuring some chap who had the nerve to say "I assumed this was normal industry practice, that a car insurance company would disclose this information to third parties. I didn't know any better." Really, I ask you.
Well Higson assures me the culprits have been sacked and there’ll be no scurrilous suggestions from the ambulance-chasers that these tiresome telephone calls are a result of anything other than the footmen running a bit of a sideline on the QT.
Lady Geek-Geek remains inconsolable, poor old thing. She’s spent hours on that new-fangled box of tricks of hers weeping over this extract from the grilling that poor Clayden endured, whilst he was head butler, on a trip up to Town last year:
“Q182 Karen Lumley: How do they get the information that these people have had accidents? Do they get them from you?
Dominic Clayden: No. Whether it is a claims management company or whatever, a fraud ringdoesn’t—
Q183 Karen Lumley: I am not talking about a fraud ring; I am talking about people who get whiplash. How do people get hold of them?
Dominic Clayden: You are probably best to ask the people giving evidence later. My understanding is that it is by advertising.
Q184 Karen Lumley: You don’t sell details on to them?
Dominic Clayden: Not to accident or claims management companies, no.
Q185 Chair: Are you absolutely sure about that?
Dominic Clayden: Do I refer claims to solicitors? Yes.
Q186 Karen Lumley: Do you sell those details on?
Dominic Clayden: Not since the change in the law in that situation. I do not receive a referral fee.
Q187 Chair: But you did before then.
Dominic Clayden: Absolutely. We have been a strong advocate of the ban on referral fees and the reduction of the legal fees that go with it. It is the nature of the system. The reality is that, to remain competitive in a market where something is legal, we referred and took a referral fee. We still refer people to solicitors but we do not take a referral fee.
Q188 Chair: We have had quite a lot of evidence saying that insurers themselves often generate claims. The Government have said that they would like to see you, the insurance companies, address behaviours that encourage excessive and unnecessary claims within their own business models. It appears that the Government think that you are the people who are generating the claims. Are they wrong?
James Dalton: As Dominic has said, the system has changed very recently.
Q189 Chair: But before it changed you were guilty of this, were you?
James Dalton: The industry has long said that there is a dysfunctional compensation culture
in the UK and that we are part of the problem.
Q190 Chair: What I am putting to you is that part of that dysfunctional system is the behaviour of the insurance companies. That is what the Government say.
James Dalton: Yes; and we have admitted that the insurance industry has played a part in that dysfunctional system, which is why we made a very strong case for the banning of the payment and receipt of referral fees.”
(See more at Hey diddle diddle)
And I thought these modern motors were meant to be trouble-free!
Anyhow, must dash. The old dear’s muttering something about tablets and laptops. I think the pressure may be getting to her finally. More ghastly weather on the way so best try to plug the leaks and so forth. Pip pip!