We need protection from whiplash-related insurance hikes

John Woodcock, the shadow transport minister, recently said that the motoring public needs protection from whiplash-related insurance hikes, especially when drivers are involved in accidents through no fault of their own.

Mr Woodcock, Labour MP for Furness and Barrow, spoke at an industry conference recently where he called for action on the high number of car accidents where one or more involved parties were not at fault. Out of the 4.5 million car insurance claims submitted to insurance providers in 2011, more than 50 per cent fell into this category, the shadow transport minister said, only to experience rocketing insurance premiums because of the reckless motoring of others.

Responsible drivers cannot and should not be held responsible for the insurance industry’s inability to get a handle on the number of costly whiplash-related injury claims plaguing the UK, and Mr Woodcock said that Labour will be exploring ways to discourage or outright ban insurers from using no-fault accidents as an excuse to raise premium prics. The MP added that it was more than £1,500 a year for a comprehensive policy – an increase of almost £50 over the course of a year – and that drivers are already suffering enough because insurers cannot manage high claims volumes.

Insurers say that one of the biggest problems they face in keeping costs down, outside of whiplash claims, is instances of insurance fraud. As a result, the Labour policy review will examine the issue in greater detail, examining ways to clamp down on fraudsters.

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