The Civil Liability Bill will receive its second reading in the House of Lords today, as the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) reports that motor insurance claims are at their lowest for a decade.
The government’s CRU reported yesterday that a little over 650,000 motor insurance claims were made last year, down from approximately 780,000 in 2016. They hit their highest in 2011/12, peaking at almost 828,500.
The figures contradict the government’s ‘compensation culture’ rationale for introducing whiplash reform and changes to the personal injury discount rate, in the form of March’s Civil Liability Bill.
Under the bill, damages for whiplash claims will be capped, and settlements without medical evidence will be banned. Separate secondary legislation is also increasing the small claims limit for road traffic accident claims to £5,000 and for all other personal injury claims to £2,000.
Moving the calculation of the personal injury discount rate, which is currently set at -0.75%, away from ‘very low risk’ to ‘low risk’ investments, as well as forming an expert group to advise on its level every three years, has been billed as essential to tackling the rising cost of clinical negligence disputes.
But the CRU also reported yesterday that clinical negligence claims fell slightly to 18,430 last year, from 2016’s 18,449.
Commenting on the figures and the second reading of the Civil Liability Bill, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers president Brett Dixon said: “This discredits the principles behind the Civil Liability Bill. This bill will not achieve its aims to lower premium costs for motorists. The insurance industry will get away with using injured people as scapegoats. Any concept of fairness or compassion or help for genuinely injured people will sacrificed for the empty promise of cheaper car insurance.”