Yesterday the Government announced whiplash reforms that will see car insurance premiums slashed for motorists - putting an end to abuse of the system and seeing savings put back in to the pockets of drivers.
A reported increase in exaggerated and often disproportionate claims means that road traffic accident claims have increased, driving up the costs of premiums for ordinary motorists. That is why the Government has announced reforms, including a ban on settling whiplash cases without medical evidence, a practice which has opened the door to fraudulent or embellished claims, as well as introducing a new online portal for road traffic claims under £5,000 – simplifying the process and cutting motorists’ insurance by around £35 a year.
The changes are designed to reduce the unacceptably high number of whiplash claims made each year, with more than 550,000 in 2019/20 alone, which will allow insurers to cut premiums for millions of drivers. Insurers have pledged to pass on the savings these reforms will create to drivers – worth a total of £1.2 billion.
Key changes that have been introduced include:
- A new digital portal to make a claim for any road traffic related personal injury valued at under £5,000, including claims for whiplash. This means claimants can settle their own claim without the use of a lawyer if they wish. It is anticipated that the majority of road traffic accident claims will use the portal in future.
- Increasing the small claims track limit for road traffic accident-related (RTA) personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000. Therefore the majority of all RTA related claims will now proceed through the cheaper small claims track where legal costs are not recoverable.
- A new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries setting out how much can be claimed for an injury, depending on how long it impacted the claimant with the duration up to two years. It provides claimants with a clear guide to how much their injury would be worth when they make their claim.
- A ban on the practice of seeking or offering to settle whiplash claims without first obtaining medical evidence.
By putting an end to abuse of the system from individuals looking for an easy payday, we are seeing savings put back into the pockets of the country’s drivers.
For more information on the Government’s new rules on whiplash claims, including comments from the Lord Chancellor Chief Executive of Motor Insurers’ Bureau, who operate the new Official Injury Claim online claims portal, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/over-1-billion-savings-for-motorists-as-whiplash-reforms-come-into-force.