MPs warn insurance companies over fraud

July 31, 2013 | By | In News

Car insurance providers have been warned to “get their house in order” in a Commons Transport Committee report, which urges the change of practices that encourage insurance fraud, particularly through claims for whiplash injuries.

The report recommended alterations to the way such claims are dealt with, including a limitation period for road accident claims and a requirement for more supporting evidence in cases involving personal injury.

However, MPs stressed that any reforms shouldn’t penalise honest motorists and that the UK’s designation in the media as the “whiplash capital of the world” could not be proved either way.

Insurance company plans to divert smaller whipclash claims through the small claims court also came in for criticism, with the Transport Commmittee concerned that it would impair access to justice for those with bona fide claims, and could potentially lead to increased legal fees for claimants.

The small claims court option could also prove to increase the number of fraudulent or exaggerated claims, as expert advice is not generally used in the process.

MPs commented negatively on current practices in the report, saying: "We were surprised to hear that insurers will sometimes make an offer to personal injury claimants even before a medical report has been received. We also note that our previous recommendation on making the links between insurers and other parties involved with claims more transparent has been ignored."

Do you think the way insurance claims are handled needs to be reformed? What do you think has been the cause behind the increasing number of fraudulent claims? Have your say below.

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