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Whiplash claims: MPs to investigate ‘epidemic’

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MPs have today launched an inquiry into how whiplash claims are pushing up the cost of motor insurance.

The Transport Committee wants to find ways to reduce the number and costs of claims of this type following a Ministry of Justice paper last year which called the UK the “whiplash capital of the world.”

Reported whiplash has risen by nearly a quarter in the last four years, despite the number of road accidents falling, with whiplash claims costing £2bn a year, adding an extra £90 a year to the average motor insurance premium.

Earlier this week the Association of British Insurers (ABI) released new proposals to curb what they called “the UK’s whiplash epidemic”.

Under the proposed plans anyone claiming whiplash injury would be required to undergo examination by an accredited medical expert.

Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP, said: “It is vitally important for policymakers to understand the reasons for the very high cost of motor insurance, especially for young drivers, and to take steps to bring that cost down.

“Whiplash claims undoubtedly play a part in driving up the cost of motor insurance, but access to justice for injured people must be preserved. We want to hear the arguments on these points and will publish a report in the summer about the best way forward on this difficult issue.”

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