New whiplash crackdown was announced by the government at the State Opening of Parliament
The government is to introduce a new Civil Liability Bill to tackle compensation culture around car insurance claims.
The new legislation was announced in the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, launching the new parliamentary session after the general election.
The Queen’s Speech details the government’s plans for the coming year. The Queen announced that the government will introduce new legislation ”to modernise the court system and help reduce motor insurance premiums”.
The government said the new Civil Liability Bill could save motorists an average of about £35 a year on their premiums.
It said the bill will seek to tackle the “continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims”, while at the same time ”ensuring that full and fair compensation is paid to genuinely injured claimants”.
The main elements of the bill will be, ”To tackle the rampant compensation culture and reduce the number and cost ofwhiplash claims”.
It will ban insurers from offering to settle claims without the support of medical evidence.
There will be a tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries that will be fixed for up to two years.
The government pointed out that the volume of road traffic accident related personal injury claims is around 50% higher than ten years ago, despite advances in vehicle safety. 520,000 claims were registered in 2006/07 compared with 780,000 in 2016/17.
The last Parliament saw the introduction of the Prisons and Courts Bill, which was shelved because of the general election.
That legislation sought to tackle soft tissue injury fraud in motor insurance claims by raising the Small Claims Court threshold from £1,000 to £5,000 and included caps on whiplash payouts. The government at the time said the reforms would cut car insurance premiums by £40, and several insurers pledged to pass savings on to their customers.
During the election, the Conservatives manifesto vowed to tackle fraudulent whiplash claims and slash motor premiums.
“We will reduce costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exagerrated and fradulent whiplash claims,” the manifesto said.