Jack Straw in insurance car crash

Updated: 
Jack StrawThe tentacles of the car insurance industry reach a long way, and now even one of its supposed opponents has now found himself embraced in its slippery arms.

The former Labour minister Jack Straw, who has been key to the campaign to stop insurers charging referral fees to ambulance-chasing lawyers, has himself been found taking their shilling in the form of £5,000 for three hours' work at an industry-sponsored event in which he gave a speech and took part in a question and answer panel.

And the topic of discussion at that event on September 28? Well, it was looking at the twilight practices in the motor insurance world that force up premiums for consumers, that's you and me.

No-win, no-fee
The main problem under the spotlight is when insurance companies sell the personal details of their customers involved in car accidents to claims management companies who then chase them up and put them in touch with no-win, no-fee lawyers and insurers in return for a referral fee.

The result is a massive rise in claims and a subsequent surge in premium costs meaning that insurers are profiting from their morally debatable actions.

It's one of the dodgy practices affecting premium costs in the motor insurance industry, while you could consider another to be the spending of money on lobbying experts and, dare I suggest, politicians, to look kindly on their business and the legalities surrounding it.

Recognising irony, it seems, is not Mr Straw's strong point.

Following the industry event – titled I Love Claims (surely a signal?) – he failed to declare the payment when the new amendments affecting the motor insurance industry were tabled last week. He said he hadn't registered the interest yet because he was still to receive the money, although the parliamentary paperwork has now been adjusted to log an interest that is pending.

Is it just me, or does this seem like a bit of a car crash?

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