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‘Overzealous’ lawyers driving up US motor rates 

The US Insurance Information Institute has hit out at the impact of “excessive litigation” on rising motor insurance premiums.

The institute says that while dangerous driving conditions and increasing costs have played a role, “overzealous billboard attorneys” are exacerbating the situation. It says insurers last year paid out, on average, more than $1.10 for every $1 in premium collected.

In a briefing note called Legal System Abuse – State of the Risk, it examines tactics used to initiate lawsuits, drive up litigation expenses and settlement payouts, and secure “outsized monetary awards”.

The report says attorneys often use aggressive marketing and advertising techniques to attract potential plaintiffs.

“There are real costs behind what we all know and see plaguing our roads with promises of settlement dollars, as billboard attorneys are racking up fees and consumers are found to be getting less and less,” institute CEO Sean Kevelighan said.

“The price of insurance is the effect, not the cause of risk, and there must be more work done to curb legal system abuse, as auto insurers – both personal and commercial – are seeing significant increases in claims costs when attorneys enter into the picture.”

The report is available here.