Insurers still crave reform despite premiums fall

By 20th November 2014 News No Comments

Insurers say there will be no let-up in the campaign for whiplash reform despite motor insurance premiums falling again.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) today revealed that the average price paid for the a motor insurance policy fell by £2 during the third quarter of 2014, to £356.

This was consistent with falls in premiums ever since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act came into force in April last year. The average premium has now fallen by 7% over the past 18 months from a pre-LASPO level of £382.

James Dalton, the ABI’s head of motor and liability, said insurers are delivering on their commitment to pass on savings from reform of the civil justice system to customers.

But despite the reductions, Dalton said the ABI is still expecting further government moves to reduce claims costs.

‘Work needs to continue to ensure that the new system for producing whiplash medical reports by accredited independent medical experts is introduced quickly and effectively,’ Dalton said.

The Ministry of Justice has proposed an IT hub, the working title for which is MedCo, to allocate medical experts to claims and operate a mandatory accreditation scheme for experts. The plans were subject to a consultation which closed at the start of this month.

The Motor Accident Solicitors Society warned after the proposals were published that the ‘balance of justice’ has now shifted too far in favour of defendants and insurers.

The government has also included proposals to ban inducements for personal injury claims and dismiss claims altogether if the claimant has been ‘fundamentally dishonest’. These form part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill which is currently in the House of Lords.

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