Personal injury lawyers hit back at ‘scaremongering’ from Allianz boss
Personal injury lawyers have hit back at the CEO of Allianz Ireland after he said half of the 1,500 claims the insurer challenged in the Irish courts last year were “potentially fraudulent”.
Jody Cantillon, partner in the litigation department at Cantillons Solicitors, told Irish Legal News that the insurance boss was “attempting to paint anyone who takes a personal injury case as being a fraudster”.
Allianz Ireland CEO Sean McGrath told the Irish Independent that the insurer, one of the largest in Ireland, had challenged more than 1,500 claimants in the courts last year, winning an average saving of €20,000.
Mr McGrath added: “Nearly half of all claimants’ cases that Allianz contests in court are potentially fraudulent.”
Responding to the insurance boss’s remarks, Mr Cantillon said: “This is typical scaremongering from Allianz, attempting to paint anyone who takes a personal injury case as being a fraudster.
“The Allianz executive claims that half of cases they fight in court are ‘potentially fraudulent’. So, firstly he’s accepting that at least half of them are not fraudulent. Secondly, arguing that cases are ‘potentially fraudulent’ is the same as the prosecution arguing in a criminal case that the defendant is ‘potentially guilty’. It is the opinion of the Judge that matters, not the vested opinion of the Allianz executive. Thirdly, only a very small proportion of cases actually go to court, because they are generally settled in recognition of the fact that the claimant has suffered an injury for which they are entitled to compensation.
“So, what the Allianz executive is not telling the public is that the vast majority of cases are genuine instances of innocent members of the public being injured and being entitled to compensation to right that wrong.
“It is also noteworthy that the Allianz executive claims that winning a case and defeating a fraudulent claim saves the company €20,000 per case. Yet, these savings are not passed onto the consumer in the shape of reduced premiums. Consumers are still paying exorbitant insurance premiums despite Allianz making €3 billion profits in the second quarter of 2018, the latest period for which figures have been published.”