Insurers Body Calls out for Big Changes in Whiplash Claims

As MPs and ministers meet once again with road safety organisations and insurance providers to thrash out the problems surrounding motor insurance, research out this week shows that motorhome insurance, in common with most other types of vehicle insurance, has risen 20% just because of claims from whiplash injury.

The report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) highlights whiplash claims as the number one reason why insurance costs are soaring. The report says claims for whiplash have gone up 33% over the last 3 years with last year seeing an incredible 570,000 claims which cost the industry over £2 billion. The ABI reckons the claims put an average £90 on each premium taking the average cost of motor insurance well past £500 per annum. The report also suggests that a complete industry has grown around claims for an injury that is very difficult to disprove. Not only are fraudsters taking advantage of whiplash claims but also accident and claim management companies, lawyers and even insurance companies who are not slow to benefit from referral fees.

The report suggests that in a year when London hosts the Olympics the UK would be certain gold medals winners if whiplash injury was declared an Olympic sport! The ABI have not been slow to put forward their own ideas to the government think tank looking into the motor insurance problem and have once more reiterated their proposals. They believe first and foremost that a cap on payouts is introduced quickly, and following on from that the criteria for lodging a claim be rigorously changed. They advocate a speed threshold should be introduced that disallows claims if the vehicle is travelling below the threshold. That GPs are replaced by medical panels when a claimant’s injuries are assessed and that claimants receive no pay out for general damages unless it is backed up by objective medical evidence.

There is no doubt that motorhome owners would welcome some respite from the continuing rising cost of motoring and it seems that radical changes in the way insurance premiums are costed may have to be brought about if the law abiding citizen is to continue enjoying motoring in the UK.

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