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Personal injury claims rise but motor insurance premiums don't follow suit

Author: Jane Penman

The number of personal injury claims made in the 12 months are almost static, according to figures published by the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU). 

Figures published by the CRU for 2018/2019 show that, in total, 862,356 personal injury claims were registered. Of these, 660,608 were motoring related. While this is a slight increase on the 650,019 claims made in the previous year, it’s considerably lower than the peak of 828,489 in 2011/2012.

On the face of it, the reduction appears to be good news, however, concerns are being raised by those opposing the Civil Liability Act’s whiplash reforms, which are due to come in to force next April. Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of the Association of Consumer Support Organisations, is surprised that the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which argued for the reforms, haven’t responded to the upturn in figures.

He claims that the ABI’s stance is that motorists have paid more for their car insurance because of ‘an epidemic’ of whiplash claims. It also said in April that insurance premiums had fallen as a result of the Civil Liability Act reforms. Yet, he says, if insurance premiums are so sensitive to claim numbers, surely the increase of 10,000 motoring claims would have the opposite effect on premiums, proving that “…the ‘evidence’ to justify the reforms is very slim indeed.”

Jane Penman, partner in Russell & Russell’s personal injury department, says: “This is yet another example of how the ABI is manipulating the figures to suit its own ends. There is already strong evidence to suggest it’s not passing on the full savings it’s made from the existing reforms to motorists and I dare say any further savings on the impending whiplash reforms are not going to be any different.”

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