APIL WEEKLY – 1 August 2013
A group of MPs investigating the impact of whiplash on motor insurance has called for insurers to “put their house in order”, and recommended that the Government reconsiders its plans for the small claims court limit.
The Transport Select Committee published its highly anticipated report yesterday (Wednesday).
In the report, the committee condemns some insurer practices which can allow for fraudulent or exaggerated claims, such as making offers of compensation before obtaining a medical report. It also warns against an increase in the small claims court limit to £5,000 amid concerns that it would impair access to justice, and cites APIL’s concern that an increase could provide an opportunity for claims management companies to run claims, which would in turn generate a boom in cold calls and texts as seen in relation to PPI claims. The committee recommends that the Government analyse the impact of the RTA portal on costs and claims management before reconsidering whether to increase the small claims limit.
MPs on the cross-party committee also concluded that there is no evidence to either support or disprove that the UK is the “whiplash capital of the world”, and acknowledged that there is no authoritative data publicly available about the prevalence of fraudulent or exaggerated claims for whiplash.
The committee’s other recommendations include accreditation for medical practitioners, and a reduction in the limitation period for whiplash claims.
The full report can be downloaded from http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmtran/117/117.pdf