ABI petitions for business in compensation culture
by Gill Montia
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is calling for action to free businesses from the fear of the UK’s compensation culture and overzealous interpretations of health and safety rules.
ABI data reveals that for every £1 paid out to settle “slip and trip” style liability claims, an additional 93p is paid out in legal fees.
According to the Association, this together with a legal system that encourages people to make exaggerated and fraudulent claims, means UK businesses are left shouldering high and disproportionate legal costs, which they are paying for through their employers’ and public liability insurance premiums.
One large supermarket chain told the ABI that it needed to keep five stores open a year to pay for personal injury costs alone.
Speaking at yesterday’s Chartered Institute of Environmental Health conference, Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance, said: “Businesses, especially the small businesses crucial to our economic recovery, need to be able to thrive, not operate worried by the constant risk of being sued for the most minor of injuries and confused by health and safety requirements.”
In this respect, the ABI is currently working with other stakeholders to develop a short, simple leaflet to be included in policy documents, dispelling myths around what is and isn’t required from insurers.