Robin Selley

The latest news to be quietly released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is that car insurance premiums have once again risen to a new high, having risen for nine successive quarters and the last of those between October and December 2017 being  9% higher on the previous year.

But weren’t we told repeatedly by the ABI that motor insurance premiums would start to come down following the introduction of the government’s reforms to the personal injury claims market? We know that the costs of claims has been reduced significantly already, but the government has of course proposed further whiplash reforms, that will limit the ability of the majority of injured claimants to seek appropriate redress from insurers.

These further reforms will affect everyone with a relatively low value injury claim, not just those with whiplash injuries. Wasn’t this whole process to reduce whiplash fraud? Of course not, it was a means to reduce the insurers potential exposure to the majority of injury claims, regardless of the cause.

So as insurance premiums continue to rise, the ABI continues to pass the blame onto a variety of other factors.

The ABI’s press machine has continues to focus on so-called ‘whiplash fraud’, although those on the Claimant side of the fence will say there is little evidence to suggest that personal injury claims are responsible for recent substantial increases in motor insurance premiums.

Just recently Lord Keen, when appearing before the justice select committee declared that “many” fraudulent claims were made each year, but then admitted he could not put a number on it.

A small crumb of comfort comes in the form of Bob Neill– who remains the justice select committee chairman in Parliament – who previously accused the MoJ of “firing in entirely the wrong direction” with its reforms.

There would seem to be a vast amount of conflicting information and evidence on this issue, although the Government do not appear to have it. Maybe it’s been lost along with lots of other sensitive information that they previously held?

Perhaps the simple reason for all of these personal injury reforms is the insurance industry’s desire, and in turn their loyal supporters, to reduce the ability of all those who suffer injury and loss as a result of the negligence of others to make claims and reduce the amounts that can be recovered in compensation.

Claimants and their lawyers may well need to tighten their belts again before long.

Insurers, taking the Rise again!