The compensation culture continues to be a menace within the insurance claims sector, particularly in cases of whiplash. Many believe it is time for motorists and insurers to fight back.
Now new Government proposals for a more proportionate approach to minor whiplash related personal injury claims should help reduce insurance premiums for honest motorists and tackle the compensation culture, says the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Submitting comments to the Government consultation on implementing measures to end cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries and increase the Small Claims Limit, the ABI backs further reforms which will help reduce pressures on the cost of motor insurance.
The ABI’s submission includes:
- Backing the Government’s proposals to limit compensation for minor soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, neck and shoulder pain, to loss of earnings, medical costs and rehabilitation care.
- Calling for minor soft tissue injury to be defined as injuries where major symptoms last for six months or less.
- Supporting raising the Small Claims Track Limit for road traffic accident claims from £1,000 to £5,000. This will limit legal costs in settling lower value claims. Initially this should apply to road traffic accident claims, being extended to all personal injury claims at a later date.
- Safeguarding the interests of claimants by developing an easy, accessible and consumer-friendly process.
- Strongly supporting the introduction of a tariff of fixed compensation payments for soft tissue injury claims. This would ensure a clear, transparent system is in place to compensate those with a soft tissue injury.
Rob Cummings, the ABI’s Head of Motor and Liability, said: “Motorists and the industry have long called for action to tackle the compensation culture, so we support the Government’s proposals. These measures are needed so that compensation for minor injuries is not at a level that encourages a compensation culture to thrive.
“Limiting compensation for minor injuries and increasing the small claims limit should balance the interests of those claiming with those of the far greater number of insurance-paying motorists.
“For these reforms to deliver on the Government’s aim of helping reduce pressure on motor premiums, they must be implemented as a package and in full. The Government also needs to reconsider its plans to review the discount rate – the method used to assess higher value personal injury awards – as its flawed methodology and any reduction in the rate could wipe out any savings from these reforms.”