MPs call for action over whiplash claims
Car insurance costs are spiralling and claims for whiplash injuries are one of the main causes, according to a new report by MPs, launched today.
Although the number of road accident casualties has fallen by 23 per cent in the past six years, the number of motor insurance injury claims has grown by 70 per cent.
The Transport Select Committee wants people submitting whiplash claims to be required to provide much more extensive proof that they have suffered this type of injury and it also wants the government to impose a higher threshold for compensation payouts.
The Committee warned that referral fees are also pushing up the cost of premiums and it is calling for insurers to be banned from selling customer information.
Insurance companies receive referral fees from solicitors, garages and car hire firms in return for accident details including drivers’ personal data.
Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Although we strongly support access to justice, drivers should not be railroaded by cold callers into launching legal action”.
The Committee suggests that the Government should establish a cross-departmental ministerial committee to investigate how the cost of motor insurance can be reduced.
The report was supported by motoring organisations, including the AA.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: “We must kill the compensation culture that has sharply driven up car insurance premiums. The recommendations from the committee are a positive step towards doing that.”
Meanwhile, drivers are being warned that online insurance company, Aston Midshires, is under investigation by Police, Trading Standards and the Financial Services Authority after it allegedly sold invalid motor insurance policies.
The investigation was launched following thirty complaints from drivers who purchased insurance from the firm but found it not to be valid.