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News roundup

The news, it seems, refuses to take a couple of weeks off and go on holiday. This month we review the latest fightbacks from clinical negligence solicitors as fixed fees are mooted by the MOJ…

August began with the news that the Claims Management Regulator had been baring its teeth. On 10th August Post Magazine reported the regulator’s first ever ‘nuisance fine’ after it slapped a £220 000 bill on the Hearing Clinic. It turned out the company had been making speculative calls to potential customers despite having not subscribed to a telephone preference service.

Meanwhile, Insurance Times has been following the exploits of CMCs who flout the law and reported a further case in mid-August of a Samir Kahn, who was jailed for 12months for submitting bogus personal injury claims on behalf of a group of schoolboys who were unaware of the claims. Mr Kahn, also known as Waheed Rafiq was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on 14th August for pocketing almost £25 000 from the insurer Travelers.

Taxi rank for audiologists?

Elsewhere, the ongoing debate over noise induced hearing loss claims continued, with figures issued by the Association of British Insurers plucking some big numbers out of the sky. Post Magazine reported “of 200,000 NIHL claims submitted since 2012, less than one fifth have been eligible for compensation’, while Karl Helgesen, motor and casualty claims director at Zurich added “I know [a taxi rank system for audiologists] is being considered as one of a number of options to tackle the challenge in this area."

August is also a big month on the stock market as the major insurers’ half yearly results flood into the LSE. While there were mixed fortunes with the likes of Esure whose profits fell £14m, others like Direct Line Group and Admiral enjoyed a good start to 2015 with a 10% and 6% rise in profits respectably.

However, analysts at Macquarie investment bank said an 11% rise in notifications to the RTA portal in 2015 was reason to pour cold water on the future results of Admiral and Direct line. In a slightly surprising turn that indicates not every piece of analysis is formed of the belief that personal injury is inherently fraudulent, the bank suggested that the rising number of claims could be explained ‘by more cars doing more miles’.