By Max Clarke

Leading high street retailers are joining forces in an attempt to address the UK’s broken, 'have-a-go' compensation culture, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has announced.

Numbers of personal injury claims have almost doubled since 2002 as consumers increasingly claim for trivial purposes for personal gain.

The cost to businesses, consumers and insurers continues to rise, resulting in higher premiums from insurance companies as well as higher costs for shoppers. In one year alone, the NHS incurred a bill for more than a quarter of a billion from lawyers fees as a result of injury claims.

Argos, ASDA, Ford, and Whitbread PLC, Lloyds of London are among the industry giants that have joined forces to form the 'Consortium for Compensation Reform'.

“Our current civil litigation system is failing too many genuine claimants — the very people it should be protecting,” said Otto Thorenson, ABI Director General.

"Compensators, such as insurers, retailers and local authorities, are committed to paying genuine claimants as quickly as possible. But too often this happens despite the system, not because of it. People can get more money quicker by claiming directly from insurers, but ambulance chasing lawyers can still manipulate the system.

“The position is not irreversible. Other countries have taken action and we must do the same. Excessive legal costs must be reduced. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill provides a much-needed opportunity to mend our broken compensation system to ensure a better deal for genuine claimants, taxpayers, local authorities, the NHS and businesses alike."

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