As regular readers will recall from last week’s Bankstone News, we left off half-way through a thrilling Daily Mail lid-lift on the sordid worm can that is insurance claims. There now follows the remainder of our in-depth investigation of the article in question. If you missed the first part – not to worry, it was mostly about some bloke in a Renault Espace whiplashing a taxi driver on his way to the pub. Now read on!

“The driver is always the loser,” the Mail report claims shockingly, adding that many claims are not really claims at all – but something far more sinister. The name of the game is trafficking in customer details – a practice that nets insurers a breathtaking £3bn a year, the Mail reveals. It’s all to do with something called referral fees. These had to be unbanned in 2004, apparently, because they help to “grease the system” but now they are to be banned again by Prime Minister David Cameron.

“One of the worst offenders,” the Mail declares, “is Admiral, which generates an incredible £16 million – six per cent of the company’s gross annual profits – from referral fees.” The paper goes on to accuse Admiral founders Henry Engelhardt and David Stevens of having hard noses and “substantial properties in South Wales.”

But Admiral are apparently just the tricorniform tip of a whopping great mountain of dubious dealing in which insurers up and down the land are irredeemably complicit. And then there are money making machines like Helphire who feast on the carrion meat of innocent motorists fleeced by insurance double-dealers, or something, allegedly.

Mark Jackson who helped set up Helphire has a “£3.5 million Georgian manor house” with “immaculate lawns, extensive grounds and impressive views across the Somerset countryside,” a “Grade II listed building, with swimming pool, sauna, nine bedrooms, adjoining lodge, gym and croquet lawn” the Mail copies down bitterly from some estate agent’s set of particulars.

And that’s as much as we can bear to tell you this week, Dear Reader. The Badger beckons. Our throats are parched, nobody reads the last story anyway, and if we don’t get something mailed out to our loyal subscribers pretty soon, there’s bugger all point in bothering.

More half-arsed throwaway cynical plagiarism next week!


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