Bankstone News is as big a fan of lawyer jokes as the next man, but was recently shocked to learn that lawyers these days are telling insurer jokes. These include: what’s the difference between an accountant and an insurer (an accountant knows they’re boring), what do you call a dozen insurers at the bottom of the sea (a start), what’s the difference between an insurer and a trampoline (you take your shoes off before jumping on a trampline), and why did God invent insurers (so estate agents would have someone to look down on) etc. etc.

So bitter has the strife between lawyers and insurers become of late that the business press is rife with evidence of their tedious public squabbles over things like referral fees, mugging, who’s on the side of decent honest working people, who’s simply out to profit from the public’s fear and pain, etc. etc. Every news story is quickly furnished with radically divergent rival interpretations designed to illustrate how either lawyers or insurers are self-serving and duplicitous. So much so, that one almost begins to suspect they both are.

The latest instance of this was the announcement of Admiral’s results, for which, according to law firm Thompson Twins Solicitors, the tricorn touting Welsh insurer should be roundly apologising whilst refunding all those policyholders they’ve so shamelessly ripped off with all that hyped up talk about “compensation cultures” and how the Government must act to clampdown on the making of claims or nobody would ever make any money.

Even after nobly giving up around £15m in referral fee income (dirty money, better off without it, really), Admiral managed to record profits before tax for the first six months of 2013 of £181m (up 6% despite a small drop in turnover). These figures were boosted by what Hank Angelheart called “excellent claims experience” and residual nice little earners such as £7.3m in credit hire referral fees. The results were also helped, Thompsons point out by the release of reserves, which, the solicitor firm argues, were uneccessarily stored up against the entirely fictitious threat of a personal injury claims tsunami that (naturally) never materialised.

“Insurers have been claiming they can’t make any money because of fraudulent claims and a supposed compensation culture in the UK,” claims Thompsons spokesman Tom Jones, “but now they are able to dish out huge payouts to their shareholders from the hundreds of millions unnecessarily collected from motorists. They’ve exploited the fear they have created to allow [sic] the government to introduce restrictions on access to justice for accident victims.

“We call on Admiral to apologise and to reimburse their customers for overcharging”, Mr Jones calls. At the time of going to press Bankstone News has to tell you that no such undertaking had been received from Admiral and consequently lawyers are at war with insurers.


Lawyer v Insurer… or is it Insurer v Lawyer?


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