Independent panels will be introduced to help fight bodily injury fraud

The government is to introduce independent medical panels from next year to assess whiplash claims.

The move is aimed at curbing fraudulent whiplash claims that have dogged the motor insurance industry, driving up costs and premiums.

In the Autumn Statement 2013 report, released today, the government wrote: “From 2014, whiplash cheats, whose fraudulent compensation claims have driven up average motor insurance premiums, will be scrutinised by new independent medical panels. This will ensure that only evidence from accredited professionals can be considered and will mean people can no longer profit from exaggerated or fraudulent compensation claims.”

Deloitte insurance partner James Rakow said the introduction of the panels could have the potential to reduce premiums as fraudsters find it more difficult to succeed with a whiplash claim.

“Whiplash has been one of the main factors behind increasing motor insurance claims. Ensuring that claims are assessed by independent medical panels should reduce fraud and potentially lead to a fall in premiums,” he said.