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New rules to crack down on fraudulent insurance claims

Woman rubbing neck after suffering whiplash injury in car

The government is promising more than £ 1 billion in savings for motorists, as new rules on whiplash auto insurance claims come into effect Monday in England and Wales.

The aim is to reduce the high number of fraudulent claims for traffic accidents.

The new rules will allow insurers to cut premiums for millions of drivers by around £ 35 a year, ministers say.

The reforms will also include a streamlined online claims process for an accident under £ 5,000.

Medical proof will also be required for all future whiplash claims.

The government says the UK has “some of the safest roads in Europe”, with fewer accidents reported year on year since 2013.

Yet claims related to traffic accidents are more than 40% higher today than in 2006.

He said more than 550,000 claims were made in 2019-20 alone, while there was also an increase in exaggerated, fraudulent and embellished claims.

Insurers have pledged to pass the savings on to motorists – worth a total of £ 1.2 billion, the Justice Department added.

“For too long the whiplash claims system has been open to abuse by individuals looking for easy wages – ordinary motorists paying the price,” Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said. .

“Our changes, which take effect today, will put an end to this greedy opportunism and ultimately see the savings put back into the pockets of the country’s drivers.”

Online portal

The new digital portal will allow motorists to make a claim for any traffic-related bodily injury valued under £ 5,000, including whiplash claims.

The idea is to remove the need for expensive lawyers, so that claimants can sort out their own cases.

It is expected that the majority of traffic accident claims will be processed using the portal in the future.

The new rules also include increasing the track limit for road traffic accident-related small claims from £ 1,000 to £ 5,000.

This means that the majority of all claims will be dealt with under cheaper small claims, where legal fees are not recoverable.

Motorists will need to submit medical evidence to the portal before a settlement can be made.

“There are almost as many grim headlines about whiplash allegations as there are allegations themselves,” said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.

“This new system should make it easier and faster to process legitimate cases, fraudulent claims are more likely to fail and all drivers will benefit from lower insurance premiums.”

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