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Queen's Speech: Insurers welcome new whiplash legislation move

Industry looks towards meaningful delivery of the reform.

Insurers have welcomed the new whiplash legislation proposals introduced in today’s (21 June) Queen Speech. 

Announcing the government’s legislative programme for the next two years at the State Opening of Parliament the Queen read out a host of proposed new laws.

Among the 27 bills, eight of which deal with Brexit, a Civil Liability Bill was announced with the government stating it would crack down on fraudulent whiplash claims and reduce motor insurance premiums by about £35 per year.

The savings from this measure could help mitigate the impact of the recent Ogden discount rate change and rise in IPT to 12%.

Not far enough
The latest move to tackle bogus whiplash claims follows the shelving of the Prison and Courts bill in April ahead of the general election.

In February the Ministry of Justice had unveiled the Prisons and Courts Bill which included whiplash reforms such as new fixed tariffs capping whiplash compensation pay-outs at £5,000 for small claims and banning claims without medical evidence.

At the time, however, the industry trade body, Association Of British Insurers, said aspects of the whiplash provisions were unsatisfactory.

Steve Treloar, general insurance managing director at LV stated, “The UK is the world capital for whiplash claims and with fraudulent claims adding around £40 to the average car insurance policy, we have to clamp down on the compensation culture that is rife in this country.”

“The original proposals from government on tackling whiplash didn’t go as far as we felt was necessary so we’re pleased that they are now committing to making the changes that we’ve long been asking for.

“Ultimately, we need a fair system that works for everyone and in light of these new plans we’re hopeful of getting that.”

Amanda Blanc, CEO of Axa UK, said it was really encouraging to see the government taking whiplash fraud seriously.

“In a speech understandably dominated by Brexit matters, the inclusion of the Civil Liabilities Bill just goes to show how important it is that the UK’s compensation culture is tackled,” she said.

“Delivering meaningful reform to counter the whiplash fraud epidemic will be welcomed by honest motorists and insurers alike.” 

Source – Insurance Age – 21st June 2017.


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