MAIC is advising members of the public to hang-up if they receive a cold-call asking if they’ve been injured in a car crash.
In several instances reported to MAIC the cold callers, or claim farmers as they are more broadly known, suggest they are from MAIC or associated with MAIC or other government bodies. This should be the first note of caution to the public – MAIC does not make these sorts of phone calls.
Claim farming involves members of the public receiving cold-calls or social media prompts enquiring as to whether they or members of their family have been injured in a car crash. The claim farmer may also indicate an amount of financial compensation that might be available.
Once a person has confirmed their details the claim farmer then looks to ‘sell’ the persons contact details to a law firm who then contact the injured person. MAIC is aware of instances where this is all done in a firm or forceful manner.
The practice appears to have originated in the United Kingdom several years ago and has since spread globally. Other jurisdictions are also looking at ways to halt the practice.
MAIC have been contacted by members of the public who have raised concerns as to how claim farmers have obtained their personal information and how they know that they have been in an accident. Unfortunately there is no clear pattern as to how or where claim farmers obtain their information.
MAIC has commissioned a report into the practice and legality of claim farming in Queensland. MAIC has also engaged stakeholders from the insurance and legal community to seek their input to possible solutions to appropriately address claim farming.
MAIC will also continue to review any information received from the public or from insurers and lawyers in order to provide an active response to claim farming for the motorists of Queensland.
MAIC will provide an update on outcomes.