MPs: Motorists paying price for sharp practice
Transport committee chair Louise Ellman outlines her committee's findings on motor insurance:
"Insurers, solicitors and claims management companies have themselves driven up the cost of motor premiums by encouraging people caught up in road accidents they did not cause to claim for personal injury, car hire, and other legal costs.
"Although we strongly support access to justice, drivers should not be railroaded by cold callers into launching legal action.
"The insurance industry must abandon sharp practices that push up premiums such as passing drivers' personal data to other parties or taking secretive referral fees from solicitors, garages and car hire firms.
"Many of these claims are for whiplash, an injury where diagnosis is often subjective and therefore very costly for insurers to challenge.
"The threshold for receiving compensation in whiplash cases should be raised and, if the number of such claims does not fall significantly, the government should bring forward primary legislation to require objective evidence – both of a whiplash injury and of it having a significant effect on the claimant's life – before compensation is paid."