Ambulance chasers hit a brick wall

Number of Claims Management companies now at an all-time low

Figures released last week by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) show that the number of companies providing Claims Management is now at an all-time low. The annual report, covering the period 2016 to 2017, indicates that there are now only 1388 regulated companies providing Claims Management in the UK.

These companies shared combined revenues of some £726 million in the year to 30 November 2016. Their activities cover PPI, personal injuries etc. But over the past few years thousands of companies have been struck off or have voluntarily given up. At the peak in 2011 there were 3213 companies active in this sector.

The number of companies seeking to register for Claims Management is also at an all-time low.  Only 107 new applications to become a CM company were made in 2016 and applications were down 47% in the “personal injury” sector. Overall, fewer than a quarter of all the 6722 companies registered on the CMR database are still operating.

The fall in number of companies, and low registration of new companies is due in part to a stricter regulatory environment. Claims Management companies must abide by a range of statutory conditions and comply with conduct rules. During 2016 some 69 companies were shut down by the regulator for non-compliance.

Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow consumer champion and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! says she is pleased to see this reduction in claims management companies. “So often we see companies doing what consumers can easily do themselves. There are plenty of template letters available for the likes of PPI claims and flight delays which people can use to claim 100% of what they are due. The more complicated cases, where you may need help from a third-party, are very rare.”

Marcus Williamson, editor of the consumer website http://CEOemail.com – which provides contact details for CEOs – says that it’s not worth losing 20-30% of a claim to a CMC. “It’s time that people stop wasting money on using Claims Management Companies and take matters into their own hands”, says Williamson, “Whether it’s PPI or flight claims, just write to customer services, demand redress and escalate to the CEO if necessary.”

PPI claims remain high but with a slight decline. The deadline for making PPI claims is August 2019, so it is likely that there will be continued decline in CMCs, as the last remaining PPI claims are made.

The CMR report cites a “substantial increase” in the emergence of CMCs working in the area  of holiday illness. There have been recent reports of claims management companies encouraging people to make false claims of illness against holiday companies. The regulator says it has established a team to work with reputable CMCs, tour operators, ABTA and solicitors to clamp down on this behaviour.

Notes for editors

Latest CMR report, released on 4 August 2017 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/claims-management-regulator-annual-reports

Delayed flight template letter http://www.thecomplainingcow.co.uk/airline-claim-compensation-letter-template/

 

 

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