Reducing the cost of whiplash claims
On November 17 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched its whiplash consultation with the aim of reducing the “unacceptably high” number of whiplash claims brought in the UK. Whiplash claims have increased by about 50 per cent in the last decade.
The MoJ is hoping that the consultation, which will run until January 6, 2017, will lead to a cap in the payouts for minor whiplash claims, reducing the average amount of compensation awarded from £1,850.00 to a maximum of £450.
Importantly, medical evidence would be required from a MedCo-accredited medical expert prior to any compensation being paid out.
Insurers have also pledged to pass on the estimated savings of £1 billion to their customers, which equates to around £40 per motorist.
Despite this financial benefit for the industry and customers, the plans have also been met with disapproval by some, with the fear that this could threaten individuals’ access to justice.
Regardless of these reforms, there are a number of simple measures that motorists can take to reduce the chances of a fraudulent or exaggerated claim being made against them:
* Taking photographs at the site (mobile phones being very handy in this regard)
* Securing the identity of witnesses.
* Securing the name of all passengers.
As prices reduce, we are seeing more and more businesses moving towards front-facing dash cameras and internet-based telematics to provide the evidence needed to support a claim.
* Zach Gray is commercial director at D E Ford Insurance Brokers, providing bespoke insurance packages for businesses and charitable organisations.