If you’ve been in car accident and are entitled to compensation your insurance company might try and persuade you to settle your claim directly with them. This is called 3rd party capture and it often benefits the insurer at the cost of the claimant.
What is 3rd Party Capture?
Third party capture is a term used to describe efforts by the insurance industry to persuade injured people to settle a claim directly with the insurer and not to use a Solicitor. When you contact your insurance company, they may persuade you at this point to settle your claim through them. They often do this at time when you are in shock and shaken up after your accident, so lots of people end up settling with their insurers straight away. We strongly advise you don’t do this.
Why does my insurance company want me to settle with them?
Quite simply, to settle claims as cheaply as possible.
Increasingly, the responsible driver’s insurance company are contacting injured parties directly. The insurers may encourage the injured party to accept an early offer before the full extent of an injury is known and before the full impact of the accident to their health and, in more serious cases, their working ability is known.
Moreover, the claims are often settled before medical expert evidence, concerning the injuries, has been obtained. Once such offers are accepted, individuals could be significantly under-compensated and may not be able to claim for further losses, once they realise that the earlier settlement was not enough.
In 2009 an article in the Law Gazette by Jonathan Rayner revealed that a number of insurance companies were going to launch advertising campaigns targeted directly at people who had been injured in motor accidents to go directly to them, instead of contacting a Solicitor. Worryingly, the Financial Service Authority confirmed that it would not regulate insurers which gather claims through 3rd party capture.
Insurers have tried to defend this practice by claiming they cut out the ‘expensive’ Solicitors, leaving more funds for the injured parties. Our experience suggests this is not true.
What do solicitors do differently?
Well, generally, deliver more compensation. We have acted for a number of individuals who have received substantially more compensation than
they were originally offered. We can also secure rehabilitation treatments after medical assessments, and if you need it an interim payment to alleviate immediate financial pressures.
What should I do if an insurance company tries to make me settle with them?
- You are not obliged to accept their offer: don’t agree to anything without exploring options with your solicitor. You have three years to make your claim – you can afford to take your time.
- Get in contact with a solicitor. They will outline what assessments you need to have done to build a case and guide you through the process.
Remember that you don’t have to go with a solicitor (though obviously we would recommend this) but it’s worth at least exploring your options before you bind yourself to an agreement that might not be in your best interests.
What ASD provide:
ASD offer a free meeting, usually at a client’s home for convenience, to discuss your case and can advise upon the reasonableness of the offer. We also guarantee that 100% of all the compensation recovered goes to our client.
For further information or to arrange a free initial assessment of your claim contact us on 0114 2678780.