Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to help car insurance firms slash premiums for drivers.
In a round-table summit at 10 Downing Street, Cameron urged the firms to make car insurance cheaper – and in return offered to find ways to plug the money pouring out to claims firms.
He promised action to reduce the £2 billion-a-year paid out on car insurance claims for whiplash injuries, and to change Britain’s “compensation culture”.
The cost of car insurance has soared by an average of 17% over the last year – and by similar amounts in previous years.
Britain is dubbed “the whiplash capital of Europe”, with 1,500 claims a day from minor accidents which add £90 a year to the average driver’s insurance premium.
Much of the cash goes to claims management firms or cash-for-crash fraudsters who stage road accidents to prey on innocent drivers by claiming for non-existent injuries and inflated bills for repairing damage.
The Ministry of Justice is looking at ways of making whiplash compensation harder to claim, by setting a minimum speed or the provision of more detailed medical evidence.
In Germany, drivers make fewer whiplash claims as cars have to move at 6.25 mph or more to qualify, as doctors suggest injuries received at less than that speed are minor and do not result in long-term medical issues.
Setting limits on lawyers fees for personal injury claims is another option under scrutiny.
Mr Cameron told the summit: “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. I want to ensure that we all do what we can to help people through this difficult time.”
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