Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Insurers back PM over car claims

Prime Minister David Cameron hosts a meeting of insurance company bosses at 10 Downing Street

The insurance industry has promised to pass on savings to customers from a cut in personal injury legal fees, Downing Street said.

At a summit with leading insurers, Prime Minister David Cameron criticised the "compensation culture" and pledged to reduce the current £1,200 fee for lawyers on small personal injury claims.

Insurance bosses committed to ensuring the savings were passed on to the public and also promised to challenge more health and safety claims rather than just paying out.

In a bid to help small and medium-sized firms, the industry also indicated it would provide guidance stipulating exactly what employers do and do not need to do to comply with health and safety laws.

Concerns have been raised by businesses that they are forced to go far beyond legal minimums to secure insurance cover.

The Government and the insurance industry are to work together to develop ways of reducing whiplash claims and the £2 billion-a-year costs of compensation.

Number 10 said that options included requiring better medical evidence and introducing a speed threshold for claims.

Tonight's Downing Street summit comes amid growing concern about the 1,500 whiplash claims a day for even the most minor accidents, adding £90 a year to the average insurance bill.

Mr Cameron said: "I am determined to tackle this damaging compensation culture which has been pushing up premiums.

"I want to stop trivial claims, free up businesses from the stranglehold of health and safety red tape and look at ways we can bring costs down."

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