Imagine the scenario. You are at home, recovering from an accident and wondering what steps to take next. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door.
A stranger who says they represent the other side’s insurance company asks if you have a few moments to discuss your accident. He has all the details of the accident, so he must be official.
You listen as he tells you how the company he represents can help cut out the waiting time that occurs when going through the legal system by organising a cheque as compensation for your accident almost immediately. He may even try and convince you by saying that solicitors are costly and you will end up with much less if you don’t settle directly with them and will be waiting years for your money.
Why wait? Just sign on the dotted line and the money will be yours.
Sound too good to be true?
Your grandmother would probably tell you if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
This is one method used in the process called “Third Party Capture” and it is the tactic which was used by insurers called Quinn Direct. As in the example above, they would turn up at the doorstep of accident victim’s houses or ring unannounced just a day or so after the accident and attempt to get an agreement to settle the case.
The timing of the call is crucial—rather than help you, they actually hope to catch you out. If you have not had time to take legal advice or work out what to do next, the immediate offer to settle the issue seems to solve the problem.
But at what price?
Often, as stated in a recent post, matters settled in such a way are undervalued by THOUSANDS OF POUNDS. The insurers are looking to buy you off at a lower amount than the courts may award.
An article from 2008 in The Guardian highlighted the practice used by Quinn. (((LINK)))
Just one example in that article talks of a settlement offer being made to one family of £21,000, which was vastly below the actual settlement figure of £60,000.
Quinn Direct were swallowed up by a large insurance company in 2011, but the bad news is that a new claims settlement firm has been established which plans to replicate the “Quinn model” throughout the UK according to a recent article on the insurance industry website Post Online.
The firm, called Schull Road, was set up by a former claims manager for Quinn. Stephen Martin has persuaded 68 former Quinn contractors from across the country to join him, with the aim of having a representative at a policyholder’s home within 48 hours of a claims notification.
It is interesting to note in the article the words “Central to the model is the settlement of claims without the intervention of third parties such as credit hire organisations.”
The intention of Schull Road is clearly to get the claim settled quickly to save themselves money. In tandem with the comments that the firm hope to replicate the “Quinn model,” this leads us to be highly sceptical about the way in which they hope to do business.
When in a vulnerable state, like in the aftermath of an accident, it can be quite easy to be taken in by offers of help. The outrageous behaviour displayed by Quinn Direct in the past was quite clearly an abuse of the process which has been put in place to compensate accident victims.
Protect yourself and your compensation.
Our advice to avoid being ripped off is to steer clear of firms like Schull Road and their cold-calling, door-stepping associates.
If in doubt, follow the rules below if you are injured in an accident:
● Don’t rush in to accepting any financial offer.
● ALWAYS take independent legal advice from a specialist personal injury firm.
● Don’t trust insurers who knock on your door, call or write to discuss your claim.