Insurance

Lawyers blamed for third party compensation delays

The Attorney-General yesterday announced the setting up of a new tribunal to regulate and award compensatory claims. According to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the issue of third party insurance was currently left to the court system to award damages. AG: “Third Party Insurance has been an area of high contention, it has been an area that is highly […]

Newsroom

December 9, 2016 10:26 am

The Attorney-General yesterday announced the setting up of a new tribunal to regulate and award compensatory claims.

The Attorney-General at the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Seminar yesterday.
The Attorney-General at the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Seminar yesterday.

According to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the issue of third party insurance was currently left to the court system to award damages.

AG: “Third Party Insurance has been an area of high contention, it has been an area that is highly litigious, in the sense that most of the case actually end up in court, or they dwindle away because the people who are the victims do not necessarily have the emotional, physical or financial well-being to be able to continue with their claims.”

The AG said they expected a draft law to be released within the next three months and public consultation would then be held.

Minister Sayed-Khaiyum also took aim at lawyers for intentionally dragging out insurance cases.

AG: “Some lawyers have specialised in third party insurance…some of them specialise in adjournments…some of them in dragging out matters in the hope that there is some attrition in some people losing interest.”

According to the AG, lawyers would not charge an upfront fee but charge a certain percentage.

AG: “We have heard some horrendous stories where people have received payouts after 3-4 years but the lawyers ended up taking half of it without any rhyme or reason.”

Minister Sayed-Khaiyum said the government passed a law a few years ago that restricted the maximum percentage a lawyer could take to 10 percent.

The AG was speaking at a Compulsory Third Party Insurance seminar organised by the Consumer Council of Fiji yesterday.

According to the Council, the seminar hoped to draw the attention of  policy makers, victims and vehicle owners to bring about reforms in the area, which can ensure a level playing field for all players.

COUNCIL: “The objective of the Seminar is to understand why timely compensations are not made to the victims. Whether the compensation amounts paid to the third party victims are fair and adequate. And what reforms are needed to safeguard consumer interests.”

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