News that SRA is willing to ‘explore all options with insurers’ to prevent malpractice in the legal profession is welcomed

2nd October

Adrian Furness, Claims Director at Covéa Insurance welcomed the news (published by Post Online 29/9/15) that the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) will be holding high level talks with insurers to ensure that solicitors do not engage in dubious practices that encourage claimants to make fraudulent claims.

He said "It’s widely recognised in the industry that this is a real problem that affects people’s lives and pushes up premiums. These practices prey on the most vulnerable who believe that if a solicitor is telling them they can make a claim, then it is their right to do so, whether or not they have actually been injured. Claimants are not always aware that if their claim is found to be fraudulent it is a serious crime and we will prosecute, but the solicitors advising them and pursuing their claims are. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the SRA ways the legal profession can address this issue, but we also need to increase public awareness so that people aren’t caught out in this way."

A third party driver, with learning difficulties, who attempted to make a fraudulent injury claim against Covéa Insurance was recently given a custodial sentence for contempt of court, admitting her claim was fraudulent and only stopping legal proceedings just before her claim was due to be heard in court. In sentencing her for contempt, it was accepted in court she had been pestered into making the claim, but she was still convicted and given a four month suspended sentence.

Adrian Furness added “This case highlights the human impact of fraud and proves that it is not a victimless crime. The SRA is right to address the concerns of the insurance industry as these continued legal cases involving fraudulent claims are bringing the legal profession into disrepute and are damaging to our customers. We need to find ways to ensure that only genuine claims are pursued through legal means and it’s clear a firmer line is needed by the SRA. Covéa Insurance is participating in the Insurance Fraud Taskforce initiatives and providing evidence to facilitate progress in dealing with this issue”

 

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About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France and served 11.5 million policyholders, generating over 16.4 billion Euros in premiums in 2016.  

Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of 1.5 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s A+ stable rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, designed to meet the needs of most individuals and businesses. Employing over 1500 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos, having Investors In People Gold accreditation and featuring in the 2015 and 2016 Sunday Times Top 100 Mid-sized Best Companies to Work For. It also has World Class service accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service for its Motor Claims, Home Claims and Underwriting Services teams as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial and Mid/High Net Worth business.

In January 2016, Sterling Insurance Company Limited became a fully integrated part of Covea Insurance Plc, following a Part VII transfer under the Financial Services and Markets Act. 

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