Winners and losers
These are the buzz words this month. Parliament is back in session and it is time to again raise awareness in the media to this ongoing issue. I know that PIP continues to plague you and take up a great deal of your time and you continue to suffer with anxiety about what the future holds.
Last month I discussed briefly the developments in France with regard to the Court’s intervention to order the insurer for PIP to compensate the French victims; I explained the problems I have had getting the legal expense insurance; and a summary of the Group Litigation progress through the court. What was previously an aggravation has now developed into a lurid tale of profiteering on a grand scale and at your expense as the victims. The plot now thickens:
Allianz – PIP insurers – Winners
There is no secret that Allianz are the insurers for PIP and it is no secret that Allinz have a Court order against them in France to compensate the victims. I believe the secret Allianz did not wish to share is the enormous profit they are making in the UK from the victims of PIP by supplying them with after the event Legal Expense Insurance policies (this is the cover for the legal costs of the litigation). Allianz have been until now the lead provider of insurance for the PIP victims. The estimated number of policies that have been issued is in the thousands. For an average policy estimated in the range £700 – £1000 it begs the question how much money is Allianz earning from these new policy and from the policy that they sold to the PIP company before the scandal broke and the company closed down.
There is an additional factor which is a legal term “conflict of interest”. The simple explanation of this is that if you wish to instruct me to act against a client that I already represent I have to decline because If would not be able to act against my own client. Another example is for a couple seeking a divorce, you would not both use the same solicitor as this would be a “conflict”. Allianz however does not appear to have any difficulty in accepting money to set up insurance to sue themselves or so it seems.
So for those of you who received a reply from Allianz to your letter seeking assistance I hope this provides you with further information and if you are so inclined and have already communicated with your MP this would be additional information to provide so that it makes its way back to Parliament who are presently considering the formal regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry.
Private clinics – Winners
For those of you who are unable to utilise the NHS for your removal and replacement you have no option other than to have the treatment privately and for many of you the treatment is at the same clinic that caused you the harm in the first instance. There is no requirement that you return to the same hospital because no one would suggest that you would compromise your claim by not doing so. It is not the same as returning a faulty television to the retailer. The treatment you had was an invasive surgical procedure and having lost confidence in the clinic and surgeon you would not be expected to go through this again.
For some, however, you have been persuaded by the clinic and the surgeon that they have your best interest in mind and want to put right the damage that has been caused but they will not do this for free or at least not anymore. They are charging you. Not only will their fee cover their expenses but they will profit. So they profiting from the original faulty procedure and doubling their profits by the corrective procedure.
Some clinics are now offering the surgery on extended loan payments so in addition to the fees there will be interest to pay and possibly a fee for setting up the loan.
So far the media has been our friend in raising awareness in a sympathetic way to the pain you are suffering as victims of PIP. This issue has been referred to as scandalous and continues to be so and fortunately, also continues to have public interest. We need to keep this interest alive as much as we can with the assistance of the Media and also your local politicians whose role is to investigate any issues of public concern. 47,000 women is a subject of widespread public interest.
I am working with newspapers and the radio and may again seek your assistance and if you are able to help it does make a difference.
We are waiting for the hearing in October when we look forward to receiving directions from the Court on how the litigation should proceed and what steps are required. The only information that may offer you some solace is that the difficulty in obtaining insurance for the legal expenses is widespread and is not limited to my own clients. I am not looking to Allianz for insurance and had no intention of doing so. I am seeking insurance from alternative providers but it appears that the combination of the October hearing and the changes to funding personal injury claims from next April has left the insurance industry in a muddle. As a reminder the insurance is to cover you for legal costs that may be brought against you if you are unsuccessful.
I usually try to be upbeat with my emails to you but my patience was tested when the news about Allianz being the lead legal expense provider was made known to me. Outraged is an understatement. With that in mind I wish you all the best until my next update. So far the victims remain the losers but the longer we fight the more I am confident of our success.
Words of inspiration which mean as much to the struggle you face as it did to the audience at the Democratic Convention addressed to by President Obama
“….I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder – but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer – but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us….”
We are working together for the distant horizon of treatment for those who require it and compensation for all who deserve it.