Accident Claims can now reveal that the UK government has shelved it’s plans for personal injury reforms. The news, which could have seen the end of whiplash claims emerged as the Secretary of State’s message was emailed to members of the ABI
The original reform plans would have seen the personal injury small claims limit rise from 1k to 5k and the any rights to claim for soft tissue injuries removed.
Holly Paley, Accident Claims spokeswoman thinks the news is positive for personal injury claimants. “We think on the whole the decision to shelve reforms is more of a positive. Personally we thought that the proposed personal injury changes could have significantly hindered genuine claimants. Unfortunately in every industry there are always people who manipulate the system and I think we need to come up with better ways to highlight fraud rather than look at a blanket ban altogether. Genuine whiplash claims would have been affected by these reforms and people would have lost the ability to claim compensation for this”.
The MOJ have made it clear that the issue of reform is certainly not off the agenda. For the Ministry of Justice the number of whiplash claims are still too high and contribute to the rise in insurance premiums. We’re not convinced as numbers of whiplash claims have fallen dramatically over the last few years, premiums remain the same.
There still remains significant support for changes to personal injury legislation and it’s likely that something will be done at some stage. Mounting pressure on government officials and No10 Downing Street means at some point something has to give.
It’s important that any implemented changes are based on actually independent evidence and not on the basis of keeping the pockets of insurance companies lined.
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We often talk about the rise in false accident claims, but for the first time, insurers are beginning to win the battle against ‘suspect’ whiplash claims.
The reduced number of whiplash claims has saved insurance companies over a billion pounds – savings which are yet to be passed on to consumers.
The Government’s Compensation Unit has put together figures that show 50% of accident claims made refer to motor related incidents. Statistics also show that the average value of a claim has reduced by £124 to £10,600.
The industry has been threatening to get tough on whiplash claims for a while and it now seems they are starting to make progress. Whiplash is the the term used used for damage to the soft tissue around the neck or back after an accident. One in nine whiplash claims are said to be ‘suspect’ with bogus claims adding an estimated £50 to your already hefty car insurance premium.
Speaking to drivers it’s clear that premiums have not reduced and in fact have continued to rise steadily for the past 5 years. Insurers now look to blame other factors after previously attributing rises to the number of false accident claims made. It seems the rising cost of dealer repairs and insurance premium tax are the new ‘culprits’ to your rising premiums.
Our consumer champion Holly Paley reiterates her frustration at the latest developments. “The disappointing thing is that consumers have always been told that the number of accident claims made has an impact on the premiums they paid. This data from the Government Compensation Unit doesn’t reflect that claim. If premiums rise as a result of an increase in whiplash claims than surely they should be reducing on the back of a reported 6 percent drop. I don’t personally buy the excuses coming from insurers that other factors are now attributing. We need clear guidance and advice to drivers so that we can all come together in a bid to save. The concern is that if we don’t start to pass on these savings to drivers than we will end up back where we started ,with a rising number of ‘suspect’ whiplash claims”.
If you have been genuinely affected by whiplash than speak to the Accident Claims team for no obligation advice.
We’re often laughed at for having the weakest necks on the planet. Many would argue that our weakness is merely the ease of gaining compensation in a place where accident claims are sought after by society. The whiplash claims culture accounts for a massive 80% of personal injury claims that insurance giant Aviva handles last year alone. The UK’s staggering level of whiplash claims is even more alarming when compared to our European neighbors France, where only 3% of claims are associated with neck injuries from a car accident.
Car insurance premiums have remained fairly stable over the last few years but the number of whiplash claims no doubt has a significant impact on current premiums. It’s estimated that our ‘weak necks’ account for around £93 of our car insurance premium.
In a bid to curb Britain’s compensation claims culture, politicians have played with the idea of stopping whiplash claims altogether, plans which have been stalled since the Brexit decision.
So how have car accidents fallen by 40% in the last 15 years yet whiplash claims have increased by 90% in the same period?
Are we now facing a different dilemma? While the number of accident claims is reducing, the number of fraudulent claims is increasing significantly. ‘Crash for cash’ scams have in-fluxed the system and have proved extremely difficult to flush out. It’s hard enough to determine whether the injury is real, never mind the accident in itself. Whilst insurance companies express their eagerness for legislation to end whiplash claims, their accounts suggest otherwise. I’ts well known that insurance companies sell accident claims to personal injury solicitors for £500 upwards a case, more than what third party insurance claims are costing them.
Changing legislation may never happen as genuine claimants are likely to lose out in the event of trying to make a personal injury claim for whiplash. Interestingly many claimants only pursued their whiplash claims because of persistent pressure and cold calling from accident claims management companies. Isn’t an obvious solution here to properly enforce cold calling bans?
The debate will continue to go on, the compensation claims will continue to flood in. What do you think our solution is to curbing Britain’s compensation culture without disadvantaging genuine claimant? Let us know your thoughts on Google+.