General Insurance Article - AA: New whiplash crackdown ‘welcome’

The AA has welcomed the change of heart by the Ministry of Justice in setting new plans for further reforms to bring down the number of fraudulent whiplash injury claims, that add at least £40 to the cost of every car insurance policy bought.

 • Car premiums continue to rise thanks for whiplash claims
 • 11% see ‘nothing wrong’ with claiming for fake whiplash
 The Ministry of Justice has today (17 November) announced a consultation on proposals which, following the change of Government leadership, appeared to have been shelved.
 This is at a time when the average car insurance premium quote, according to the AA’s benchmark British Insurance Premium Index* has risen by more than £80 over the past 12 months.
 Michael Lloyd, the AA’s director of insurance comments: “AA members are rightly concerned about the upward pressure on the cost of running a car, not least the rising cost of insurance.
 “That there over 800,000 small injury claims registered through the Ministry of Justice small claims track last year, of which 750,000 are estimated to be whiplash injury claims** is, frankly, shocking. It’s little wonder that the UK is shamefully regarded as the whiplash capital of the world.
 “We would particularly welcome capping of compensation for minor injury to £425, paid only on medical proof of injury; banning offers to settle without medical evidence and a more transparent tariff of compensation for more serious injury.
 “We would also like to see the banning of injury compensation altogether for very minor collisions and payment of compensation mostly in the form of care, such as physiotherapy, rather than all in cash.”
 Lloyd said that he and others in the insurance industry, expressed dismay when early in October, the Government announced that it was shelving the reforms proposed by the then Chancellor, George Osborne, in his Autumn Statement last year.
 Last year, the AA conducted a Populus poll of over 20,000 AA members showing that 63% of drivers had been cold-called by firms trying to persuade them to make an injury claim even if they had not been injured.
 The same research showed that a significant minority of drivers (11%) said they saw nothing wrong with making a claim for injury compensation, even if no injury was suffered.
 “It’s this willingness to claim – especially under pressure – that has added to industry’s claims costs and thus premiums for everyone. Further reforms can’t come soon enough.”

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