North Warwickshire and Bedworth’s MP and former local Insurance Broker Craig Tracey has spoken out in a debate on soft tissue injury claims and its negative impact on motorists’ insurance costs.
Craig believes that change is necessary in order to save drivers money and to reduce the number of spurious claims and has backed proposals for reform. Speaking in the debate the local MP stated:
“When I first started in the industry, whiplash or soft tissue injury claims were non-existent, but over time they have grown to be a significant industry which, as we have heard, costs motorists anywhere between £40 and £90 extra on their policy. Critically, it is an industry where in many instances the claimant is not the main beneficiary.
“Although the amounts of compensation paid out in soft tissue claims are relatively small, the associated claims handling costs, including the costs of investigation, processing, lawyers’ fees and medical reports, are disproportionately large. For example, a claimant claiming about £1,000 may ultimately cost the insurer two or three times that amount. As such claims are pretty common—there are about 800,000 a year—the effect on motor insurance premiums is significant.”
Oliver Heald the Minister of State for Justice who responded to the debate as the Government’s representative said:
“My hon. Friend Craig Tracey made a very knowledgeable speech. He pointed out that we have to consider not just the pure whiplash claims, but those that are whiplash-related—those described as a back or neck injury, but that are, in effect, whiplash cases.”
Craig, who spent 20 years running his own insurance brokerage, explained that the proposed Government reforms will only look at soft tissue injuries and whiplash claims – not more serious injuries such as broken bones or work related injuries.
Mr Tracey concluded after the debate:
“Compensation culture has got way out of hand and penalises everyone who insures a car.”
The Government is bringing forward a package of measures to disincentivise minor, exaggerated and fraudulent road traffic accident related soft-tissue injury claims.