National Accident Helpline

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National Accident Helpline
UK public company
IndustryPersonal injury
FoundedKettering, Northamptonshire, England, U.K. (1993)
FounderAlan Kennedy and Paul Follett
HeadquartersKettering, Northants, U.K.
Area served
United Kingdom
ServicesNo win no fee personal injury claims

National Accident Helpline is a UK-based personal injury company providing personal injury claims advice, service and support to consumers who have suffered a no-fault accident.[1]

National Accident Helpline is part of the NAHL Group PLC and is run on a for-profit basis.[2]

NAHL and its panel of solicitors process compensation claims on a no win no fee agreement, removing the financial risk from making a claim.[3] Any solicitor fees are then taken from a claimant's compensation if they win.[4]


The National Accident Helpline was formed in 1993[5] by two businessmen, Alan Kennedy and Paul Follett,[6] along with the Northampton legal firm Tollers. In 2006, Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC), the private equity arm of the Lloyds TSB Group, backed a management buyout enabling Kennedy to buy out Tollers and other shareholders.[7] LDC later sold part of its stake to Inflexion Private Equity.[8]

In April 2008, National Accident Helpline released an SMS callback service on a platform provided by[9]

The following month, the personal injury claims management company revealed a new version of the company website, featuring an interactive no win no fee compensation calculator.[10]

February 2009 saw National Accident Helpline listed in the Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100 for the first time. In 2012, the company was listed in 70th place with year-on-year growth from 2010/11 to 2011/12 cited as 32%.[11]

Specialist claims websites[edit]

National Accident Helpline also owns and Benchmark Insurance. In 2010 it started advertising through

In April 2010, National Accident Helpline published three new specialist claims websites:, and[12]

In October 2011, the company announced mobile-friendly versions of its two core websites, National Accident Helpline and[13]


National Accident Helpline initially found its clients by advertising in the press.[5] It was then one of the first claims companies to use television advertising,[6] and this became its main source of business in the 2000s.[7]

The company's television adverts have been one of its most visible sources of marketing. The adverts feature a character called Underdog, who is voiced by UK actor Joe Pasquale. More recent adverts have included musical backing tracks, including Chumbawamba's 1997 hit "Tubthumping"[14] and a version of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" where the chorus lyrics had been changed to include the brand name.[15]

Stance against cold calling[edit]

National Accident Helpline displays a clear policy against cold calling, cold texting and nuisance marketing on its website.[16]

National Accident Helpline has never cold called and in December 2014 the personal injury advice service confirmed it would no longer be contacting prospective customers by email.[17]

The firm states that any incident of cold-calling under its name has no connection with the real National Accident Helpline. It also asks victims of cold calling to report any incidents where the victim has been contacted by imposters posing as National Accident Helpline.

Ethical Marketing Charter[edit]

In July 2015, National Accident Helpline founded the Ethical Marketing Charter alongside seven other personal injury firms.[18] By November 2016, the total number of signatories stood at over 50 firms.

The Ethical Marketing Charter encourages companies in the personal injury sector to stand against cold calling and spam marketing by signing up to a series of commitments against nuisance marketing practices.[19][20][21]

National Accident Helpline also recently published findings on the impact of cold calling on the UK economy.[22][23][24]


From the Early 2000s, up to 2005, the adverts feature actors recreating scenes where they have an accident and tell the viewer the amount of money they earned in compensation and how they earned it with no problems at all. The advert then shows an anonymous woman telling people to ring the National Accident Helpline if they face an accident and entitled to compensation. The most famous one includes a woman named Katy Freeman who was walking into an office reception and did not know the floor was wet because there was no warning sign. As a result, she slipped and injured her knee. She then explains how worried she was about claiming, but was assured by the National Accident Helpline that they run on a no win, no fee basis and got £5000 in compensation. She is known for her fringe, which had been parodied by a lot of people.

Since 2010 adverts for National Accident Helpline feature a dog known as Underdog (voiced by Joe Pasquale) trying to get compensation from an unseen man (voiced by Brian Blessed) who rejects him. Underdog then says he will go to National Accident Helpline instead; the unseen man tries to convince him to go to him instead, which Underdog refuses.

Charity partnerships[edit]

National Accident Helpline has been involved in a number of charity partnerships.

It was announced in April 2014 that National Accident Helpline's new company charity was The Air Ambulance Service[25]

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT), a member of The Disabilities Trust, was the company's charity for the year 2010-2011.[26]

National Accident Helpline's employees have also been involved in a number of charity ventures. A team of four senior employees ran the 2010 London Marathon in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, raising over £6000.[27] Staff have also raised money for BIRT.[28][29]


  1. ^ "National Accident Helpline - NAHL Group plc". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  2. ^ "National Accident Helpline to launch £100m IPO". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  3. ^ "Heads I win; tails you lose". The Independent. 1997-07-29. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  4. ^ "No Win, No Fee: What it means - The Justice Gap". The Justice Gap. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  5. ^ a b Bresler, Fenton (30 July 1997). "Heads I win; tails you lose". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b Sturgis, John (18 April 2001). "The profit in accidental pain". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 2011-03-03. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  7. ^ a b "LDC backs buyout of National Accident Helpline" (PDF). Press release. LDC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  8. ^ Bollen, Jennifer (2 November 2009). "LDC gets welcome call on National Accident Helpline". Private Equity News. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  9. ^ "National Accident Helpline goes mobile". SMS Short Codes. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Website launched to help accident victims". National Accident Helpline. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  11. ^ "2012 Buyout Track 100 League Table". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  12. ^ "National Accident Helpline launches specialist claims advice websites". National Accident Helpline. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Mobile Sites Launched by Accident Claims Specialist". PR web. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  14. ^ "National Accident Helpline Launches new Knocked Down Advertising Campaign". Lifestyle News. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  15. ^ "National Accident Helpline Launches New 'Grapevine' TV Advert". PR Web. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Help Stop Nuisance Calls | National Accident Helpline". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  17. ^ "National Helpline pulls email marketing and calls for industry to crack down on nuisance calls". The Drum. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  18. ^ "NAH and seven personal injury law firms launch ethical marketing charter". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  19. ^ "Sign up to the Ethical Marketing Charter". Ethical Marketing Charter. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  20. ^ "Charter launched to exorcise nuisance marketing in personal injury sector | Solicitors Journal". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  21. ^ "Claimant lawyers take lead on ethical marketing pledge". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  22. ^ "Reclaim My Time | National Accident Helpline". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  23. ^ "Brits waste two working days a year on nuisance calls and texts". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  24. ^ "Consumer: Two days wasted on nuisance marketing". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  25. ^ "Air ambulance will benefit from claims management firm's fundraising". Northants Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  26. ^ "National Accident Helpline Supports Brain Injury Charity". PR Web. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  27. ^ "National Accident Helpline team breaks fundraising target". National Accident Helpline. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  28. ^ "National Accident Helpline raise funds for BIRT". The Disabilities Trust. July 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Richard Remembers the Underdog". The Disabilities Trust. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.

External links[edit]