Claims Farming – Do Insurance Companies Sell Personal Details?
Insurance firms are selling clients’ details?
So Jack Straw’s claims that insurance firms are selling clients’ details to personal injury lawyers for up to £1,000 doesn’t come as a massive surprise, but it has left me feeling slightly depressed.
Jack, pulling out his Dictionary of Slick Politician Phrases, called it the industry’s “dirty secret” and claimed it was the reason why car insurance premiums have rocketed, despite safer cars and a drop in vehicle crime.
I only bring this up because I have personally been receiving such offers via text and through my Skype account. Now, being a very careful driver and morally conscientious claimer, I’ve not made an insurance claim for some 15 years, which begs the question: where have the people pestering me got my details from? And why, given my claims history, do they think my details would be useful?
I understand that my details can be found on a variety of websites and social media platforms but I don’t for one second believe that ambulance chasing persnal injury law firms are trawling social media sites for random phone numbers – they must have got them from the insurance companies.
The key here is referral fees.
The key here is referral fees. Mr Straw said his research had revealed insurance companies were selling on clients’ details to personal injury firms for between £200 and £1,000 a time. To quote Jack: “Motor insurers themselves are amongst the major traders in personal information about those involved in accidents, in return for which they receive referral fees.
“This information is then used as a platform for claims against the self-same insurance firms.”
Jack went on: “This is not a system. It’s a racket.”
Nick Starling, of the Association of British Insurers, chipped in and welcomed Mr Straw’s call for referral fees to be banned. He said: “It is not right that people take cash for tipping off lawyers about accidents which fuel personal injury claims, driving up costs for all motorists.”
But i’m still left confused as to why my details have been passed on. Reading between the lines it seems to be encouraging entirely falsified claims and injuries …… Look at how much you could make if you were ‘injured’!
So, there is the issue of spiralling costs all-round, and there is the more important issue of insurance companies sharing personal data with other ‘service’ providers. I would have thought that there were laws against this type of behaviour? But I don’t know this for sure and would be powerless to do anything about it on my own. That’s why I’m a little depressed today.