Motorists pay for government delays

Motorists will have to pay up to £3m a day in higher premiums while the government dallies on reforms to whiplash regulations.

That’s the view of the Association of British Insurers, which has urged the government to press ahead with proposals to end the whiplash culture in the UK.

In last year’s Autumn Statement then Chancellor George Osborne laid out plans to ‘crack down on the fraud and claims culture in motor insurance’ and ‘end the cycle in which responsible motorists pay higher premiums to cover false claims by others’.

He said it would save up to £1bn a year in premiums, which the insurance industry promised to pass on to policyholders.

However, the government is understood to be cooling on this crackdown and has yet to publish a consultation paper on how to implement the reforms six months after it was finalised.

James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said, ‘The Ministry of Justice seems to be rowing back from much needed reform to the civil justice system that will save motorists up to £50 a year on average.

‘The UK has one of the most abused systems in Europe and the reforms would tackle the excesses of the compensation culture. Without action, claims management companies will continue to nuisance call and text honest motorists encouraging them to make fraudulent and exaggerated claims through claimant law firms.

‘Every day of delay costs honest motorists across the UK nearly £3m. The plans are drawn up and ready to go so there is no excuse for not pushing ahead. If the Ministry of Justice delivers on its promises, millions of honest customers will be better off. If they cave in to the vested interests of the ambulance chasers and cold callers, those businesses will be laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of honest motorists.’