Sunday, 19 May 2019
IS THE MOTOR INSURERS BUREAU PROPERLY ACCOUNTABLE?
At APIL’s 2019 annual conference I attended Dominic Clayden’s update on the latest developments within the Motor Insurance Bureau and the new IT platform it is developing to handle personal injury claims by unrepresented members of the public.
After hearing the Motor Insurers Bureau’s new CEO declare that the MIB was the Ministry of Justice’s delivery partner for developing the new portal and on viewing his impressive powerpoint organisational schema that reveals the impressive range and variety of different public services it discharges on behalf of the government, I expressed puzzlement that the MIB still denies its status as an emanation of the state in the ongoing appeal in Lewis v Tindale & MIB. The appeal was heard last week.
I suggested that the MIB has become a mini-ministry responsible for a significant proportion of the Department for Transport and Ministry of Justice’s responsibilities imposed under the European Motor Insurance Directives. I invited him to consider reforming the constitution of this motor insurer consortium, given its important public service role. I suggested that it should co-opt onto its board certain special interest groups, such as RoadPeace, and to make the organisation more open and accountable to the general public, who fund its operations through their insurance premiums.
I was not surprised that Dominic Clayden should reject my suggestion out of hand. However, I was surprised by the lame excuse he gave. He claimed that its governance was its own private concern and that if claimants choose to use its services or not then that was a matter of choice for them. This is as obviously wrong as it is disingenuous.
One may choose to go shopping to one of several stores; claimants do not choose to be injured by another’s negligence, nor does the invocation of their legal entitlement to compensation by the only legally recognised route to redress amount to a question of choice; it is a matter of compulsion; not free choice.