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New law to tackle fake insurance claims backed by MP Jack Straw
9:11am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Transport news
JACK Straw has welcomed the prospect of new laws to ‘weed out’ false motor insurance claims, but said more needs to be done.
The Blackburn MP has spearheaded a campaign to overhaul the industry, due to rocketing premium costs and because companies are selling clients’ details to personal injury firms.
This week ministers have hosted a motor insurance summit in London, where measures to take on the compensation culture have been discussed.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke launched a consultation on setting up an independent panel to assess whiplash claims, which have soared to more than 1,500 a day.
He will consult on raising the threshold for small personal claims from £1,000 to £5,000 to encourage people to go through this fast-track process rather than pursuing more costly legal routes.
A law to stop the selling of personal details to injury firms has already been passed.
Mr Straw said: “This is good progress, but we’ve got to go further. I’m glad the Government are listening to concerns I’ve raised after speaking to Blackburn constituents, but there needs to be a change in the law too.
“Case law in England and Wales makes it too easy to establish liability in whiplash claims. The courts cannot now put this right, only Parliament can.
“We must change the law so that the presumption is that low-velocity rear-end collisions do not result in claimable injuries.”
A study by the AA said whiplash injury claims cost insurers more than £2billion last year, adding around £90 to the cost of a typical car insurance policy.