Insurers push for further whiplash reforms despite premium fall

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) confirmed yesterday the average cost of a motor insurance policy by the end of 2013 was £370, down from £406 at the end of 2012. The overall 9% decrease was based on data from ABI members who make up 90% of the motor insurance market. Despite the fall, the insurance industry has insisted that the falling cost of premiums does not justify an end to the personal injury reforms. ABI head of motor insurance James Dalton said: “The 9% fall in the average comprehensive motor premium last year shows that insurers are fulfilling the commitment they made to the government to pass savings from changes to the civil litigation system to hard-pressed motorists through lower car insurance premiums. “But more can be done to get premiums even lower which is why the government needs to press ahead with tackling exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims which honest motorists are sick of paying for through their insurance premiums.” Insurers are set to join claimant representatives and members of the legal profession this month, to work out new plans for independent panels to diagnose whiplash. The ABI has indicated that it would like to effectively remove solicitors out of the low-value claims process; however the government rejected the change after last year’s consultation into whiplash but has not ruled out looking again at the idea. Figures from the Claims Portal for low-value claims, showed a significant drop in the number of new cases in recent months. For the seven months following the Jackson reforms and fee cuts the total number of new whiplash claims stood at 441,270. This compared with 498,882 over the same period in 2012 showed a fall of 11.5% in the number of claims. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with personal injury Solicitors in Bromley and across the country.