Whiplash medical report fees are cut, but pre-medical offers remain

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Medical professionals will only be able to charge £180 for an initial whiplash report from October, the Ministry of Justice has announced.

The Government says that the cut in fees is the latest stage of its plans to tackle insurance fraud, however, when announcing the cap, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling did not say that there would be an official ban on insurers making pre-medical offers, a practice that has been widely condemned for adding to fraudulent claim numbers.

Grayling has claimed that some whiplash reports can command fees of up to £700 are charged, “leading to concerns that they are being used to generate profit”.

As well as the cap, three other major changes are being introduced. The first of these is limiting medical evidence to a single report for most cases and allowing defendants to give their account of the incident directly to the medical expert, when appropriate.

The second is “discouraging” insurers from making pre-medical offers, but not introducing a ban on the practice, and the third is preventing medical experts who provides a report for a claimant from being able to offer the same claimant any form of treatment.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that honest drivers had been “bearing the cost of a system

that has been open to abuse” and that it was time for a change.

“We are determined to have an improved, robust system for medical evidence – so genuine claims can still be settled but fraud is driven out of the market,” he said.

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk