Insurance premiums to drop as government clamps down on whiplash claims

WhiplashCar insurance premiums could soon decrease as the government has unveiled new measures to tackle whiplash claims.

The move comes as the number of road traffic accident related claims are 50% higher than a decade ago, despite the number of accidents actually falling.

It is reported that drivers could save £35 a year on their premiums, as around £1 billion annually is currently awarded in such cases.

The civil liability bill includes alterations to how claims will be calculated and paid, and will tackle the current set up where evidence is not always required to claim.

Meanwhile the insurance industry has reported a number of fraudulent and exaggerated claims, which ultimately drives up premiums for drivers.

When unveiling the new proposals, justice secretary David Gauke said the move aims to ensure “whiplash claims are no longer an easy payday”.

Changes to personal injury payouts are also planned, with alterations to the so-called Ogden rate set to take more information into account when claims are processed.

Huw Evans, who runs the Association of British Insurers, has said the move will help to ensure that drivers receive fair compensation while also cutting costs for insurance.

The ABI reports that the average premium in January was 9% higher than a year previously, with the youngest and oldest drivers facing the largest increases.

While the bill has taken several years to reach parliament, several aspects will form an essential part of changing the claims process.

For example, a medical report that provides proof of injury will be required under the new rulings while a cap on payouts could limit what can be claimed.

The knock-on effect could see car hire insurance costs fall too, although drivers may still want to consider added extras such as car hire excess insurance to cover the excess in the event of a vehicle being damaged or stolen.

Date Created: 22 March 2018

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