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ABI responds to Transport Select Committee Cost of Motor Insurance Whiplash report

The ABI is calling on the Government to grasp the nettle and deliver the vital reforms needed to tackle the UK’s whiplash epidemic.

Only fundamental changes to the current system will mean that insurers can deliver further reductions in car insurance premiums for their customers.

Following the publication today of the Transport Select Committee’s report – ‘Cost of Motor Insurance: Whiplash’  the ABI’s James Dalton, Head of Motor Insurance said:

"The industry remains committed to paying genuine whiplash claimants fair compensation in as short a timeframe as possible. However, for too many dishonest motorists, whiplash has become the fraud of choice, increasing motor premiums for everyone.

"The Transport Select Committee is right to identify the need to tighten up the requirements for those submitting whiplash claims. There has been a growth in recent years in claimant lawyers and claims management companies encouraging people to submit an increasing number of frivolous or exaggerated claims.  Whiplash now costs UK motorists over £2 billion a year, adding £90 to the average premium.

"Following recent reforms to the civil litigation system, insurers committed to pass on cost savings to motorists.  We have delivered on that commitment and average premiums have reduced by 10% in the last year.

"The Committee’s report has kicked into the long grass making the tough calls for reform that are needed to help insurers combat the whiplash epidemic and deliver further premium reductions for hard-pressed motorists.”

For more, see James Dalton's blog: Whiplash: it's time for meaningful reform

Facts:

  • Despite safer roads, in 2012/13 there were just under 477,000 claims for whiplash, this equates to nearly one claim every minute.
  • Whiplash claims cost over £2 billion a year and represents over 20% on the average motor insurance premium – around £90 a year to the average motorist.
  • The UK is the whiplash capital of Europe: 78% of low value motor personal injury claims are for whiplash, compared to an average of 48% throughout the rest of Europe. 

Last updated 01/07/2016