Straw cites Aviva evidence as reason for further reforms 

Jack Straw

Former Justice Secretary Jack Straw warns that loopholes in referral fees are being exploited, leading to a rise in premiums.

Straw also blamed the continuing flood of fraudulent whiplash claims for the rises.

Straw is credited as the politician who, despite being in opposition and a backbench MP, seized the initiative on the issue in 2011 when he introduced a private members’ bill to tackle whiplash fraud.

Straw told the Lancashire Telegraph: “On average, premium levels have dropped 20% since their peak in 2012.

”But they are now starting to creep up. Why? Because loopholes in the regulations for the passing of personal data have been found and because of the persistence of fraudulent claims.

 “Take my constituent Claire Smith (not her real name), who received letters demanding over £1,000 for an accident she’d never had. Her insurer added that her premium would rise by hundreds of pounds.

“Ms Smith found pictures online of the claimant at a festival after the alleged accident and a post by him stating that he had had an accident a month previously. My constituent also had a vehicle inspection soon after the date of the alleged accident, which found no damage.

“After sharing all this evidence with her insurer, Ms Smith has been defending the claim. With such overwhelming evidence I am sure Ms Smith will be okay in the end, but many aren’t.

“The House of Commons’ Library has provided information that shows the number of whiplash claims up 13% on last year. Data published by Aviva estimates that insurers pay out £2.5bn on whiplash and that it adds £93 to yearly motor premiums. Further reforms are clearly needed.”