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Insurers must shoulder share of blame for cost of whiplash

09th August 2013

The Transport Select Committee report was published last week and cast doubt on the efficacy of a number of reforms, including the Road Traffic Accident online Claims Portal and an increase in the small claims court limit of £5,000, warning that the changes could lead to an increase in the whiplash activity of claims management companies, including the cold calling of prospective claimants.

However, the most strident criticism was reserved for the insurance industry, with its culture and practices found accountable for fraudulent and exaggerated claims.

Personal injury solicitors expressed satisfaction at the report and said that it at last “recognised the realities” of the claims system.

“It’s time that insurance companies stopped blaming everyone else, be it government, lawyers or their own customers, and instead concentrated on getting their own house in order,” said the Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson.

He added, “Every whiplash claim, like any other claim, should be properly considered. Most are genuine – whiplash can cause life-changing injuries and accident victims deserve proper compensation. Those claims which are fraudulent or exaggerated need to be weeded out, and a change in the working practices of insurers would help achieve that, as would greater transparency in sharing data.”

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