Please see recently published article by MASS Chair, Simon Stanfiled:
which first appeared in Insurance Post, 23 May 2017
In November 2016 the Government announced proposals to tackle fraudulent whiplash claims based on a vague promise that motor insurance premiums will be reduced. MASS wholeheartedly opposes any form of fraud, but we believe any reforms must not be at the expense of the genuine accident victim and their right to justice.
Following a consultation the Government published their proposals in a draft Bill for reform. Whilst the Bill is currently suspended due to the General Election, we fully expect it to return with the same or similar proposals, the main elements being:
- To raise the limit for cases in the small claims court for all road traffic accident personal injury claims from £1000 to £5000
- To introduce a low and rigid tariff system of compensation payments for whiplash injuries lasting up to 2 years
- To ban offers to settle whiplash claims without medical evidence
MASS believes that many of the proposed measures are grossly unfair, disproportionate and will prevent accident victims from seeking the redress and justice they deserve. Far from combating fraud they could end up encouraging more fraudulent claims and there is little or no evidence that motor insurance premiums will be reduced, with insurance companies likely to keep any savings made.
In collaboration with other representative organisations of accident victims, MASS is working hard to fight these proposals, robustly setting out our views and highlighting the detrimental impact they will have.
We believe that it is not too late for the new Government to take stock and allow the industry to come forward with a fairer and more proportionate programme to tackle fraudulent claims. Past cross-industry initiatives have demonstrated that so much more can be achieved by collaboration and dialogue and the sector should be given the opportunity and time to establish a workable and fair solution.
What can you do?
We strongly encourage you to contact your local MP after the election and make them aware of these proposals and their potentially damaging impact on accident victims and the ability of solicitors to provide independent, professional legal advice.
If you would like further information, or would like to find out how you can help fight this injustice, please contact us.