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MPs launch investigation into soaring whiplash claims

The committee is particularly focusing on five areas, including whether the Government is correct in describing Great Britain as the "whiplash capital of the world", whether it is correct to say that the costs of whiplash claims add £90 to the average insurance premium and what part of this is down to fraudulent claims, and how new proposals to clamp down on such claims would affect motor insurance premiums and genuine claimants.

The move follows the announcement earlier this week by the Association of British Insurers that people claiming whiplash injury should be required to undergo an assessment by an accredited medical expert and that levels of damage awards for whiplash injuries should be independently set.

Louise Ellman MP, chair of the Transport Committee, said: ‘It is vitally important for policymakers to understand the reasons for the very high cost of motor insurance, especially for young drivers, and to take steps to bring that cost down. Whiplash claims undoubtedly play a part in driving up the cost of motor insurance, but access to justice for injured people must be preserved. We want to hear the arguments on these points and will publish a report in the summer about the best way forward on this difficult issue.’

The Committee is seeking written evidence on the issue by Monday 15th April and intends to hear oral evidence later in the year on the Ministry of Justice consultation paper on this issue, “Reducing the number and costs of Whiplash Claims”.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.