Malvern, PA (PRWEB) July 08, 2014
A new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that the percentage of auto injury claimants represented by attorneys rose to 36 percent of personal injury protection (PIP) claimants in 2012, up from 31 percent in 2007, and more than double the rate found in a similar study in 1977. The rate of attorney involvement among bodily injury (BI) claimants rose slightly to 50 percent in 2012.
The study also examined the factors associated with attorney involvement and found that represented claimants:
- Were much more likely than those without representation to receive treatment in a pain clinic and to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for similar injuries
- Were more likely to be involved in apparent claim abuse
- Received, on average, lower net payments (total payments adjusted for claimed economic expenses and applicable legal fees) than those who did not hire attorneys
- Waited longer for payment of claims
The rate of attorney involvement varied significantly by state. The highest rate among no-fault states was in Florida, where more than half of PIP claimants hired attorneys in 2012. The lowest rate was in Kansas where just 12 percent of PIP claimants hired attorneys.
“The attorney involvement trends shown in this study undercut two of the envisioned benefits of no-fault auto injury systems: a less adversarial settlement process and more timely payments,” said Elizabeth Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC. “The role of attorneys is implicated in many of the factors driving up the cost of auto insurance.”
The study, Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims, stems from continuing IRC research into the cost drivers behind increased auto injury claim severity. It is based on more than 35,000 auto injury claims closed with payment under the five principal private passenger coverages. Twelve insurers, representing 52 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in the Unites States, participated in the study.
For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact David Corum at 484-831-9046 or by email at IRC(at)TheInstitutes(dot)org. Copies of the study are available for $300 for an electronic version, or $315 for a printed copy. Visit IRC’s website, http://www.insurance-research.org, for more information.
The Insurance Research Council is a division of the American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (The Institutes). The Institutes are the leader in delivering proven knowledge solutions that drive powerful business results for the risk management and property-casualty insurance industry. Institute knowledge solutions include the CPCU designation program; associate designation programs in areas such as claims, risk management, underwriting, and reinsurance; introductory and foundation programs; online courses; research; custom solutions; assessment tools; and continuing education (CE) courses for licensed insurance professionals and adjusters through its CEU.com business unit. The IRC provides timely and reliable research to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies and their customers. The IRC does not lobby or advocate legislative positions. It is supported by leading property-casualty insurance organizations.