In Downing Street last week the Prime Minister hosted a meeting between insurance companies and consumer and business groups the topic the meeting was the spiraling cost of insurance and the increasing number of whiplash claims.
Each year whiplash claims cost insurers around £2billion a year and with all these claims you are looking at around £90 being added onto the average annual bill. The plan is to have a minimum speed by which any whiplash claims are rejected.
With Britain fast becoming what Cameron describes as “the whiplash capital of Europe” and having around 1500 claims every single day for even the most minor accidents both Mr Cameron and the Commons Transport Select Committee have urged plans to tackle this problem immediately.
They are calling for objective evidence to be put forward both of a whiplash injury being present and it having had an effect on the claimants life before a compensation fee for whiplash is paid out.
In just 6 years there has been a massive 70% rise in motor insurance injury claims even though overall there has been a 23% drop in the number of casualties actually caused by road accidents – 70% of the total amounted was down to whiplash.
When this is put into perspective this amounts to 554000 whiplash claims in 2010-2011 alone!
"I am determined to tackle this damaging compensation culture which has been pushing up premiums. I want to stop trivial claims, free up businesses from the stranglehold of health and safety red tape and look at ways we can bring costs down. The insurance industry plays such an important part in all our lives - it is there to help when we are at our most vulnerable and at greatest need. But I want to ensure that we all do what we can to help people through this difficult time " – David Cameron
Other countries have already taken action like Germany who state that the claimant has to have a 10km/h (6.25mph) threshold for whiplash claims to be considered. Drivers in Germany have to go one step further however and get two medical opinions in order to diagnose the injury as whiplash.
Let’s hope that finally something is done to bring down premiums, eradicate or at least minimise bogus claims and finally punish those who defraud and abuse the car insurance system!