Thanks to new legislative measures set to be enforced by the government to clampdown on dubious insurance policy claims in relation to minor injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, hard-hit British motorists are in line to save a total said to be in the region of £1 billion a year.
The Ministry of Justice will be afforded new powers which will henceforth enable it to make it far more difficult for would-be fraudsters to attempt to claim whiplash-based compensation; with one part of the latest plans being the raising of the monetary threshold (from its existing £1,000 to £5,000) by which personal injury lawyers can present cases within a small claims court environment. Resulting in legal costs being subsequently reduced too.
The cross-section of changes will be good news for the millions of honest motorists here in the UK, who have habitually suffered with hefty motor insurance premiums in recent years due to the increased volume of compensation claims triggered by supposed whiplash injuries having been recorded by injured parties.
Between 2013-14 alone there was a further 9% rise in the number of motorists filing claims for whiplash, adding to the on-going hikes of the previous years; all of which has led to MP’s describing the country as the whiplash capital of Europe as it currently stands.
Indeed, in the aftermath of road traffic accidents here in Britain today, 80% of those personal injury claims which follow cite whiplash as the predominant injury suffered by the claimant, which compares unfavourably to the 3% recorded in France for example.
Outlawing of Compensation for Minor Whiplash Injuries Mooted as Part of Ministry of Justice Legislative Shake-up
According to reports over the recent holiday period, there’s much talk of compensation for those lodging claims with regards to minor whiplash injuries sustained in a road traffic accident being denied financial recompense in a major bid to impede the unprecedented scale of fraudulent claims.
The concept being ruminated over by the government department could well see the end of an individual’s right to make a cash claim for minor injuries received in this scenario, and as an alternative plans are being drawn up to allow victims with minor injuries to have their rehabilitation paid for instead.
The government believes that its revision of the currently accepted law could potentially slash a figure close to £50 off driver’s car insurance premiums, as leading insurance providers have confirmed that they’d pass on the savings forthcoming from such sweeping reforms to their policy holders if and when the legislation comes to bear.
Essentially the changes afoot will target (and eventually eliminate) dishonest claims being processed and bring an end to unscrupulous motorists exaggerating the extent of injuries suffered in such situations.
The insurance industry admits that the cost of spiralling whiplash claims are being passed on to the motorist who are said to be paying around £1 billion per annum more than they should be as a direct consequence of claims fraud. Neck injuries in particular are the biggest concern, with bogus claims said to ramp up every householder’s total insurance bill by an extra £93 to look at the problem another way.
The cynicism and manipulation of some claims management companies has fuelled the massive upturn in people filing claims for whiplash injuries, with a number of personal injury lawyers and No Win No Fee* firms not simply stopping at the bombardment of would-be customers with a seemingly relentless barrage of text messages and phone calls but going as far as to entice individuals with the promise of iPads, shopping vouchers and/or cash to tempt them into instigating claims in the first instance.
Adding their voices of approval to the government’s plans, Aviva’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson went on record as saying; “We welcome this bold and necessary step by the Government on behalf of honest people – it is all about standing up for the consumer against the fraudsters,” whilst James Dalton (speaking on behalf of the Association of British Insurers in the guise of Director of General Insurance) echoed this sentiment by adding; “The Government reforms are a significant breakthrough in tackling the UK’s compensation culture and are good news for motorists.
The end to cash compensation, for low value injuries, will help to bring down unnecessary costs in the motor insurance market and honest motorists should be the beneficiaries.”
The final word however went to Justice Minister Lord Faulks who said; “This culture is boosted by an industry that encourages exaggerated claims through cold calling and it is right that we tackle this. The Government is putting the brakes on the whiplash gravy train. Sadly, law abiding motor customers have paid for the UK’s dysfunctional and fraudulent motor claims system through inflated motor premiums.”
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