Government Crackdown on Whiplash Motor Insurance Claims

By Cliff

Whiplash claims have become common in road traffic accidents. The government is aiming to address fraudulent whiplash insurance claims by amending law which is due to come into effect in April 2019.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of motor insurance claims rose to record levels at the end of 2017. There’s been a fall in the number of road traffic casualties: however, claim volumes have remained higher than expected, with whiplash-style claims reported to the Compensation Recovery Unit rising.

The Ministry of Justice has been reviewing the laws surrounding whiplash insurance claims. According to QBE European Operations, the first wave of amendments to British law includes:

  1. Fixed compensation tariffs for injuries lasting up to two years.
  2. The amount of compensation awarded can be lowered where negligence has contributed, or increased by up to 20% in exceptional circumstances.
  3. Insurance settlement offers and requests will no longer be made without medical evidence (whiplash can be difficult to diagnose, and doesn’t generate much evidence).
  4. Small road traffic accident claims for personal injuries will be limited to £5,000 and small claims for other personal injuries will be limited to £2,000.

Further changes are expected from the Ministry of Justice to support the belief that medical treatment is more cost-effective than compensation.

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