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Lawyers call on government to 'get its priorities right' on automatic car renewals

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Access to Justice has called on the government to “get its priorities right” and take further action on automatic car renewals.

The group has called automatic car renewals a "scandal" which costs the six million motor insurance customers who renew automatically over £700m each year.

Andrew Twambley, Access to Justice spokesman said: "The new Prime Minister and Cabinet has a good opportunity to review the previous administration's legislative agenda and re-state some priorities. These plans are the very antithesis of One Nation government, as they benefit insurers at the expense of ordinary people.


"As long ago as 2013, Insurer activity at policy renewal stage was troubling enough to force the Treasury Select Committee to write to the FCA and ABI, yet car insurance premiums have now risen to their highest level since 2011."


Chancellor George Osborne announced in his 2015 Autumn Statement that people making personal injury claims worth up to £5,000 would have to use small claims court and cannot recoup the cost of legal advice.


Rob Cummings, general insurance policy manager at the ABI, told Post: "Consumers can see through the arguments from Access to Justice. They know as much as we do that it is the gravy train of excessive legal fees from fraudulent and exaggerated whiplash claims that is driving up the cost of car insurance for honest motorists.


"Insurers have delivered on their very public promise to cut premiums following initial Government reforms to the civil justice system and have passed on over £1 billion to customers in lower car insurance premiums.


"Recognising that they don't have consumers on their side, A2J are trying to deflect attention - renewal pricing has nothing to do with access to justice.


"But if they did their research, A2J would know that improving transparency for consumers is a key priority for the ABI. The FCA is currently taking forward proposals we made in 2014 to ensure customers are sent the previous year's premium with their renewal notices, whatever route they use to buy their insurance."

 

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