Written Answers to Parliamentary Questions

Written Answers to Parliamentary Questions

Recent PQ: (added 29 March 2016)

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-03-16.31297.h&s=Motor+Vehicles+Insurance

Parliamentary monitoring (as at 14 March 2016)

OUTSTANDING PQs

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had with the judiciary on the potential change in the number of litigants in person in personal injury claims as a result of the changes to personal injury law and procedures announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement and Spending Review 2015; and if he will make a statement. (21635)

Andrew Stephenson (Pendle, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of crash for cash accidents since the implementation of the whiplash reform programme. (30504)

Andrew Stephenson (Pendle, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the MedCo Portal in tracking whiplash claims. (30505)

ANSWERED PQs

NEW Personal Injury (11 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government has taken to ensure independent verification for the evidence on which it has proposed changes to personal injury law and procedure. (29658)

Dominic Raab: The government received and analysed data from numerous sources prior to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. It will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course and the consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-03/29658/

NEW Legal Profession: Personal Injury (10 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate he has made of the potential change in the level of employment in law firms arising from the changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Autumn Statement 2015; and if he will make a statement. (28921)

Dominic Raab: The Government will be consulting on the detail of the proposals in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-29/28921/

Corporation Tax: Personal Injury (9 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he made of the potential effect on corporation tax receipts of changes to personal injury law and procedure prior to making his announcement of such changes in the 2015 Autumn Statement; and if he will make a statement. (29875)

David Gauke (Financial Secretary to the Treasury): The Ministry of Justice will launch a public consultation in due course on the details of the policy. This will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-04/29875/

Personal Injury: Compensation (9 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he made before his announcement in the Autumn Statement 2015 of the effect on revenues to the public purse of changes to personal injury law and procedure; and if he will make a statement. (28997)

David Gauke (Financial Secretary to the Treasury): It is too early to say what the impact will be since this is still work in progress. The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-29/28997/

Personal Injury: Compensation (8 March 2016)

Sir Greg Knight (Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department has made on implementing the recommendations of the whiplash reform programme. (29487)

Dominic Raab: Further reforms were announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November. Those reforms will remove the right to compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity from minor whiplash injuries, and reduce legal costs by raising the small claims limit for personal injury claims to £5,000. The government will consult on the detail of these reforms in due course, with a view to implementing them as soon as the necessary legislation is in place.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-02/29487/

Personal Injury (8 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on income tax receipts of changes to personal injury law and procedure prior to making his announcement in the 2015 Autumn Statement; and if he will make a statement. (29783)

David Gauke (Financial Secretary to the Treasury): The Ministry of Justice will launch a public consultation in due course on the details of the policy. This will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-03/29783/

Personal Injury (8 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect on court fee income of changes to personal injury law and procedure prior to making his announcement in the 2015 Autumn Statement; and if he will make a statement. (29782)

Dominic Raab: The government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-03/29782/

Personal Injury: Compensation (7 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he made prior to his announcement in the Autumn Statement 2015 of the effect on VAT receipts of changes to personal injury law and procedure; and if he will make a statement. (28996)

David Gauke (Financial Secretary to the Treasury): It is too early to say what the impact will be since there is still work in progress. The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-29/28996/

Personal Injury: Compensation (7 March 2016)

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effect of planned changes to personal injury law and whiplash claims on access to justice. (HL6305)

Lord Faulks: The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course, including any necessary safeguards. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-22/HL6305/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (4 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2016 to Question 20350, on motor vehicles: insurance, what information his Department holds on which insurers have committed to pass on all savings to consumers as a result of the proposed changes to personal injury law. (29165)

Dominic Raab: Leading insurers have committed to give customers 100% of the savings made from new Government reforms to help slash the cost of motor insurance. Some have already made public their intention to do so.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29165/

Personal Injury (4 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the changes to personal injury law and procedure announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Autumn Statement with the European Convention on Human Rights; and if he will make a statement. (29275)

Dominic Raab: The Government will be consulting on the detail of the proposals in due course.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29275/

Social Security Benefits: Personal Injury (3 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2016 to Question 21498, on social security benefits: personal injury, whether the estimated effect of the proposed changes on social security recoupment from injuries other than whiplash are likely to be caught by the changes. (28992)

Justin Tomlinson: DWP officials are continuing to work with the Ministry of Justice to assess the potential impact of the proposed changes. The government will consult on these measures which will be accompanied by an impact assessment that will cover claims for compensation which are recoverable under the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-29/28992/

Personal Injury: Compensation (3 March 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to paragraph 3.103 of the Autumn Statement and Spending Review 2015, what discussions he has had with the judiciary on the potential effect of removing legal costs by transferring personal injury claims of up to £5,000 to the small claims court; and if he will make a statement. (28804)

Dominic Raab: Discussions relating to the new reforms have been held with the judiciary. The Government continues to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including the judiciary, in taking this work forward and will consult on the detail in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-29/28804/

Oral Question to Culture, Media and Sport: Nuisance Calls (3 March 2016)

  1. Sir Simon Burns (Chelmsford) (Con): What steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of nuisance calls. [903859]

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Mr John Whittingdale): The Government are taking a range of measures to tackle nuisance calls, including strengthening the regulators’ ability to take enforcement action against organisations that break the law and increasing consumer choice by consulting on making it a requirement for direct marketing callers to display their calling line identification.

Sir Simon Burns: Many of my constituents will be very pleased by that answer, but does the Secretary of State accept that they will hope that the action will be taken quickly? Like me, they are fed up to the back teeth with sleazy calls trying to sell them PPI protection or help with personal injuries that never happened. It is time that something was done to stop those disreputable practices.

Mr Whittingdale: My right hon. Friend and I are constituency neighbours, so I am very much aware of our constituents’ concerns about this subject. I am sure that neither he nor I would ever be guilty of making nuisance calls, either in relation to our own elections or, indeed, on behalf of candidates in other elections across the pond. However, action is being taken. The new measures are taking effect and in just the last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office announced a record fine of £350,000 against one of the leading firms responsible for nuisance calls.

Mr Speaker: We are all better informed.

Martyn Day (Linlithgow and East Falkirk) (SNP): Nuisance calls are increasingly annoying to me and many of my constituents—the problem may affect people in Scotland more adversely, with nine out of 10 residents claiming to have had them in any given month—and 30 March will mark the second anniversary of the DCMS report, “Nuisance Calls Action Plan”. What plans does the Secretary of State have to publish a revised plan, detailing what success the first plan has had and what future action can be taken to tackle the problem?

Mr Whittingdale: We keep the matter under continual review, but we have taken a number of measures, and we will shortly come forward with the outcome of our consultation into strengthening the requirements for direct marketing callers. I am also in contact with organisation such as Which? that have a good record on the matter. If further measures need to be taken, we will certainly do that.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160303/debtext/160303-0001.htm#16030337000019

Oral Question, Insurance: Whiplash (1 March 2016)

Lord Hayward (Conservative): To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to meet representatives of the insurance industry to discuss their treatment of claims for whiplash injuries.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): My Lords, meetings have been held with representatives’ groups from both claimant and insurer sectors at both ministerial and official level to discuss the reforms announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Ministers and officials are continuing to engage with interested stakeholders as work on the detail of the Government’s whiplash reform programme develops.

Lord Hayward (Con): When my noble friend next meets representatives of the industry, will he ask them to explain cases such as that of Mr John Elvin of Watford? Mr Elvin was involved in a negligible traffic incident where there was no apparent damage to either vehicle. At the first opportunity, he notified his insurers—esure—that he was subject to what he believed was going to be a false whiplash and damage claim. Despite a series of requests, esure has given no indication that it has investigated this case in any way. Is this not an example of the reason why the industry is known in this country as “the whiplash capital of the world”? It is the consumer who ultimately pays for this cavalier attitude.

Lord Faulks: My noble friend is quite right to draw the House’s attention to the very major problem of the significant increase in the number of claims and our large number of claims in comparison with other European countries. One of the reasons that insurers give for settling these claims is that it costs them too much to fight the case. Of course, if our plans to raise the small claims limit to £5,000 come into effect, this will no longer continue to be a valid reason for not contesting claims. Anyone who is notified of what sounds suspiciously like a fraud should not do anything to encourage it. If individuals are invited to take part in such an endeavour, they are potentially committing a criminal offence.

Lord Thomas of Gresford (LD): My Lords, the Minister referred to the court costs. Have the coalition’s policies of banning referral fees produced any results? Has the number of frauds gone down? Are there any statistics on that as yet, following the Insurance Act 2015?

Lord Faulks: The Government are attacking this problem on a number of different fronts. Referral fees is one; the LASPO reforms is another; and there is the MedCo portal, which means that all whiplash injuries must go via a neutral evaluation with limited costs. All are contributing to a decrease in the number of whiplash claims, but there are still too many, and we still feel that there is fraud at the root of all this.

Lord Beecham (Lab): My Lords, of course no one would defend fraudulent claims, whether for whiplash or other injuries. However, the raising of the small claims limit to £5,000 will represent a further reduction of access to justice to people and even businesses of modest means with valid claims. Given that the Government claim the insurance industry—in which motor insurers alone receive £15 billion a year in premiums—will save £1 billion from the increased limit, having already saved £7 billion in the last four years, what steps are the Government taking to ensure that any further savings from their latest surrender to the industry’s interests will be substantially passed on to policyholders? Or is this to compensate the industry for the insurance tax levy increase, which it will no doubt in any case pass on to policyholders?

Lord Faulks: There is no question of the Government surrendering to the insurance industry, as the noble Lord puts it. The insurers already announced that they will reduce the premiums to insurance companies by £50. We will watch insurance companies very carefully to see whether they translate their promises into action. Of course, as all noble Lords will know, insurance is a highly competitive world. All of us will have been irritated by the invitations to compare the market. Ultimately, the market should prevail.

Lord Walton of Detchant (Crossbencher): My Lords, the whiplash phenomenon is thought to occur usually when a vehicle is struck heavily from behind, with the result that the passenger or driver in the vehicle that is hit has a sharp flexion of the neck followed by a sharp hyperextension. If it happens that the individual in question already has disc degeneration in the neck, there is no doubt at all that this may on occasions result in actual damage to the spinal cord with significant physical results. However, in the great majority of so-called whiplash cases, no organic abnormality can be detected. Indeed, there is considerable evidence that some of the claims for whiplash injuries are spurious. Having said that, is it not time yet again for the Government and the medical profession experts in this field to come together to see if they can promulgate some objective means of assessing the significance of these claims?

Lord Faulks: The noble Lord, with his experience as a neurologist, highlights the complicated nature of this injury and the fact that it is not usually detectable on scans. He also made the point about pre-existing degenerative injury. The effort to achieve some sort of consensus among medical experts has been helped by the MedCo portal. It is remarkable how many of the reports now have a more favourable prognosis than used to be the case before it was introduced.

Lord Hunt of Wirral (Con): I declare my interests as set out in the register. Will my noble friend the Minister accept that there is serious concern not only in this House but also in the insurance industry at the way in which we have allowed a situation where 80% of all personal injury claims are said to be whiplash claims? Will he find some way of stopping these cold calls? One of my colleagues just had a cold call from a claims management company calling itself the “Department of Compensation”. Will my noble friend please get across to everyone that these people are potentially committing a very serious criminal offence?

Lord Faulks: My noble friend is, of course, absolutely right. The Government are determined to stamp down on this. Legislation is already in place, primarily enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office. The Government have recently consulted on bringing forward secondary legislation to require all direct marketing callers to provide their calling line identification. Individuals can have a Telephone Preference Service installed on their telephones and we are also exploring the possibility of call-blocking devices for vulnerable consumers.

When somebody rings me, as they do from time to time, inviting me to take part in a fraud, I endeavour to extract details from them without revealing the position I hold. Unfortunately, my voice appears to cause them only to put down the phone.

Lord Dubs (Lab): My Lords, will the Minister confirm that the rate of whiplash claims in Britain is 20 times as high as it is in France? Have we something to learn from our friends across the channel?

Lord Faulks: It is surprising that that comparison should take place at this particular time in the political weather. The noble Lord is quite right. Some 9%, or 225,000, of bodily injuries in France were whiplash, but 76%, or 375,000, in the United Kingdom were.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/text/160301-0001.htm#16030141000368

Civil Proceedings: Fees and charges (16 February 2016)

Frank Field (Birkenhead): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on access to justice for people on low incomes of the Government’s proposals to (a) increase the small claims court threshold and (b) remove the right to general damages for soft tissue injuries. (26221)

Dominic Raab: The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course, including any necessary safeguards. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-08/26221/

Personal Injury: Compensation (11 February 2016)

Karl McCartney (Conservative, Lincoln): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to end the offering of compensation in personal injury claims when there is no medical evidence. (25986)

Karl McCartney (Conservative, Lincoln): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the effect of third party capture on motor insurance premiums. (26008)

Dominic Raab: The Government is determined to crack down on fraud and the compensation culture.

The Government recognises that offers to settle made to claimants without medical evidence may encourage opportunistic and fraudulent claims. The Government introduced new court rules in October 2014 to discourage such offers and we continue to keep the matter of third party capture, including the impacts on motor premiums, under review.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-04/25986/

Personal Injury: Compensation (11 February 2016)

Lord Kennedy of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are planning to take to end fraudulent whiplash insurance claims.  (HL5643)

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park: The Government is determined to crack down on the compensation culture and insurance fraud.. We therefore announced, in the Autumn Statement, that we will limit the right to damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in low value whiplash claims and raise the small claims limit for personal injury claims to £5,000.

These reforms build on previous measures taken forward by the Ministry of Justice to control costs, strengthen the medical evidence process and reduce incentives to pursue fraudulent and unnecessary whiplash claims.

The Government will consult on the detail of the new measures in due course.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-01-29/HL5643/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance Premium Tax (10 February 2016)

Karl McCartney (Conservative, Lincoln): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the effect on motor insurance premiums of the recent increase in insurance premium tax. (26009)

Harriet Baldwin: Insurers must pay IPT on the value of premiums received for general insurance. If insurers pass on the full rate increase to their customers, the impact on premiums would be an increase of only 3.5%.

Tax forms only a small part of the cost of motor insurance. Other factors include competition, the volume of low value personal injury claims and fraud. The government has taken steps to crack down on the fraud and claims culture such as announcing at Autumn Statement 2015 proposals to end the right to cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries. The government expects the insurance industry to pass an average saving of £40 to £50 per motor insurance policy on to consumers.

The government also encourages consumers to shop around for the most suitable cover at the best price.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-04/26009/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (9 February 2016)

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2016 to Question 20722, what figures his Department used for the number of motor accidents in each year from 2006 to 2015 in formulating that Answer. (25612)

Data on the number of motor accidents between 2006 and 2015 was obtained from publicly available datasets published by the Department for Transport. This data can be obtained from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/497176/ras45004.xls

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/461863/ras10013.xls

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-03/25612/

Personal Injury: Compensation (9 February 2016)

Helen Jones (Warrington North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been prosecuted for bringing fraudulent claims in whiplash cases in each of the last five years. (25418)

Helen Jones (Warrington North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of whiplash claims each year which are fraudulent; and if he will place in the library a copy of the evidence used in arriving at this estimate. (25531)

Dominic Raab: Information on prosecutions for fraudulent whiplash claims is not held centrally, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The Government remains concerned about the number and cost of personal injury claims and the impact they have on motor insurance premiums. At 760,000 (of which 690,000 were for whiplash) in 2014/15, personal injury motor claims volumes are still at historically high levels, being some 50% higher than in 2006 when there were around 520,000 such claims.

The Insurance Fraud Taskforce published their final report on 18 January which was supportive of the Government’s proposals to tackle fraudulent and unnecessary claims. The Government will consider their recommendations closely.

The Association of British Insurers regularly publishes data on the number of detected fraudulent claims made, and the most recent published data can be found here: https://www.abi.org.uk/News/News-releases/2015/07/You-could-not-make-up-Savings-honest-customers-insurers-expose-3-6-million-worth-insurance-frauds

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25418/

Personal Injury: Compensation (9 February 2016)

George Howarth (Lab, Knowsley North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the evidential basis is for the Government’s statement that whiplash claims cost the country £2 billion a year. (25195)

George Howarth (Lab, Knowsley North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his holds on the proportion of the £2 billion cost of whiplash claims comes from (a) genuine claims and (b) fraudulent claims. (25196)

Dominic Raab: As noted in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the figure of £2 billion a year is an insurance industry estimate of the cost of dealing with road traffic related personal injury claims.

The Government will be publishing an impact assessment alongside its consultation on the whiplash reforms announced in the Autumn Statement in due course.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-01/25195/

Personal Injury: Compensation (9 February 2016)

Christina Rees (Shadow Civil Justice spokesperson, Lab, Neath): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, further to the Government response of October 2013 to his Department’s consultation on arrangements concerning whiplash injuries in England and Wales, what plans his Department has (a) to maintain access to justice for claimants and (b) to protect such claimants from the under-settling of claims potentially arising from increases to the small claims court limit. (25147)

Dominic Raab: The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course, including any necessary safeguards. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-01/25147/

Personal Injury: Compensation (5 February 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer to the Question 21806 of 19 January 2016, on personal injury: compensation, whether the meeting on 8 December 2015 was the first meeting of Ministers with insurance industry representatives on reform of personal injury claims. (25534)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2016 to Question 21806, what commitment he received from insurance industries that savings from government reforms would be passed on to consumers; and what steps he plans to take to ensure that such commitments are monitored and transparent. (25415)

Dominic Raab: On 8 December 2015, at a meeting with Ministers, representatives of leading insurers committed to pass on savings to consumers through lower premiums following the implementation of Government reforms. The Government will be monitoring the industry’s reaction to these reforms closely.

The meeting on 8 December 2015 was the first Ministerial meeting with insurers to discuss the reforms announced in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. Lord Faulks subsequently met representatives from the claimant lawyer sector at the end of January 2016. Officials had previously met with both insurers and claimant lawyer representatives to discuss the reforms.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25534/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (25 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what estimate his Department has made of how much motor insurance premiums reduced after the changes introduced by the Jackson civil litigation reforms and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012; and if he will make a statement. (21717)

Dominic Raab: This information is not collected by the Ministry of Justice.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-11/21717/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (22 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the insurance industry provided to his Department an estimate of by how much motor insurance premiums would reduce before they took effect as a consequence of the changes introduced by the Jackson reforms of the civil justice system and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012; and if he will make a statement. (22233)

Dominic Raab: The civil litigation funding and costs reforms, which came into effect in April 2013, were intended to control the costs of civil litigation which had risen unsustainably. The insurance industry confirmed that motor insurance premiums would fall as a consequence but did not provide an estimate of the likely reduction.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-13/22233/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (22 January 2016)

David Crausby (Lab, Bolton North East): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions there have been for motor insurance fraud in each of the last five years.

Dominic Raab: This information is not held centrally, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-14/22525/

Personal Injury (21 January 2016)

Conor McGinn (Lab) (St Helens North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the proposed increase in the small claims limit for personal injury on access to justice. (22815)

Conor McGinn (Lab) (St Helens North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that insurers cannot under-settle claims made in person following an increase in the Small Claims limit. (22930)

Dominic Raab: The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course, including any necessary safeguards. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-18/22815/

Personal Injury: Compensation (19 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Prime Minister, on what date he last met insurance company representatives to discuss issues relating to personal injury claims; and who was present at that meeting; and if he will make a statement. (21806)

Dominic Raab: On 8 December, following the Chancellor’s announcement of further whiplash reforms in his Autumn Statement on 25 November, Lord Faulks and two ministerial colleagues, Oliver Letwin and Harriett Baldwin, met a representative group of senior figures from the insurance industry, including the Association of British Insurers. The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss passing savings arising from the reforms to motorists by way of reduced premiums.

We will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders including other government departments, solicitors and insurers in taking forward the new reform package. The Government will consult on the detail of these measures in due course.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-11/21806/

Personal Injury (18 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take to ensure new litigants in person as a result of changes to personal injury laws and procedures announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 are able to meet the requirements of the personal injury portal. (21804)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he made of the potential effect on court fee income of the announcement in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 on changes to personal injury laws and procedure before making that announcement; and if he will make a statement. (21805)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the number of court staff and resources required in the cases involving litigants in personal injury claims of changes to personal injury laws and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015; and if he will make a statement. (21807)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on court fees income of the changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015; and if he will make a statement. (21810)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he made of the potential effect on government revenues of changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 before announcing those changes; and if he will make a statement. (21828)

Dominic Raab: The Government will consult on the detail of the new reforms in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-11/21804/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (18 January 2016)

 Andy Slaughter: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department intends to use any of its statutory regulatory powers to ensure that there is the reduction in the cost of car insurance referred to in paragraph 1.143 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. (20373)

Harriet Baldwin: The pricing of insurance products is a commercial matter for individual insurers in which the Government does not seek to intervene. The motor insurance market is intensely competitive and the Government therefore expects that the insurance industry will pass on savings to consumers.

Some insurers have already committed to pass on all savings to consumers as a result of the proposed changes.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-16/20373/

Social Security Benefits: Personal Injury (14 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to proposed changes in personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, what assessment he has made of the level of potential reduction in recoupment of social security benefits paid to personal injury victims following such changes; and if he will make a statement.

Justin Tomlinson: DWP officials have been working with the Ministry of Justice to assess the potential impact of the proposed changes to personal injury legislation on the level of recoupment of social security benefits paid by the compensator to DWP. The early analysis indicates that the vast majority of personal injury victims who claim compensation for whiplash do not claim DWP benefits which are recoverable under the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997. Therefore, if this trend continues, the potential changes to the personal injury legislation will have a minimal impact on the level of recoupment of social security benefits. DWP officials will continue to work with the Ministry of Justice as the proposed changes to personal injury legislation are developed and progressed.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-07/21498/

Personal Injury (14 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect on the operation of the new arrangements for obtaining medical reports in road traffic claims of the changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015; and if he will make a statement. (21824)

Dominic Raab: The measures announced in the Autumn Statement build on the Government’s previous reforms including, in particular, the MedCo system for obtaining independent medical reports which remains integral to the Government’s approach to tackling abuses in the whiplash claims process.

The Government will consult on the detail of the new measures in due course and the consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-11/21824/

 Personal Injury: Compensation (15 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Prime Minister, if he will meet with representative bodies of people acting for personal injury complainants to discuss the outcome of his discussions with the insurance industry; and if he will make a statement. (21525)

Dominic Raab: The Government continues to work with a wide range of stakeholders in taking forward the whiplash reform package announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement in November 2015. Officials met with representative bodies for claimant solicitors in December 2015 and a ministerial meeting is planned for the end of January 2016. They will have a further opportunity to comment when we consult on the detail of the reforms in due course.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-07/21525/

 Personal Injury: Compensation (15 January 2016)

John Spellar (Warley): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to announce changes to procedures to deal with motor accident claims for whiplash. (21344)

Dominic Raab: In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced further reforms to tackle the number and cost of whiplash claims. The Government will consult on the detail of these reforms in due course.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-06/21344/

 Personal Injury (13 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 on the number of litigants in person in personal injury claims; and if he will make a statement. (21688)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment has he made of the potential effect of changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 on the number of personal injury claims; and if he will make a statement. (21689)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 on the prevalence of the practice of third party capture; and if he will make a statement.

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment has he made of the potential effect on income to insurance companies of the changes to personal injury law and procedure announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015; and if he will make a statement. (21699)

Dominic Raab: The Government received and analysed data from numerous sources when formulating the announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. We will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders including other Government Departments, solicitors and insurers in taking forward the new reform package. The Government will consult on the detail of these measures in due course. The consultation will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-08/21688/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (12 January 2016)

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to paragraph 1.143 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, what assessment he has made of the extent of a fraud and claims culture in the motor insurance; and what evidence of such a culture he provided to HM Treasury before publication of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. (20722)

Dominic Raab: The Government received and analysed data from numerous sources when formulating the announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The quoted figures were arrived at by combining published industry estimates along with data from government and other sources.

Government data, compiled by the Compensation Recovery Unit at the Department for Work and Pensions, indicates that claims volumes remain at historically high levels, some 50% higher than in 2006. Over the same period motor accident rates have fallen by around 26%. This is clear evidence that the system is in need of further reform, which is why on 25 November, in his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced tough new measures to control costs and reduce the number of unnecessary whiplash claims.

The Government will consult on the detail of the new reform package in due course and the consultation document will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-04/20722/

 Insurance (5 January 2016)

Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 2 December 2015 to Question 17980, if his Department will consider publishing details of meetings with insurance industry representatives before the next return.  (20334)

Harriett Baldwin: Treasury Ministers and officials meet with a wide range of companies and organisations to discuss relevant issues.

As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Treasury’s practice to provide details of all such discussions.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-15/20334/

Insurance (5 January 2016)

Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 2 December 2015 to Question 18028, with what representatives of claimants his Ministers or officials met when developing policy on the small claims limit. (20335)

Dominic Raab: The Government is very clear on what claimant representatives think about raising the small claims limit. The Coalition Government consulted on this issue between December 2012 and March 2013 with a wide range of stakeholders. Following that consultation, the Coalition Government announced in October 2013 that it was deferring the decision on whether to raise the small claims limit to focus instead on work that would lead to the establishment of the MedCo system in April 2015.

The present Government decided that the time was right to return to the issue of raising the small claims limit, announcing its intention to do so in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The Ministry of Justice has continued to engage with representatives from all sectors since the Chancellor’s announcement and will be consulting on the detail of the new reform package in the New Year.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-15/20335/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (5 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, by what mechanism any savings made by insurance companies as a result of a change to the small claims limit for soft tissue road traffic accident injuries will be passed on to policyholders. (20348)

Harriett Baldwin: The Ministry of Justice will launch a public consultation in the New Year on the details of the policy.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-16/20348/

Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith): To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, by what mechanism any savings made by insurance companies as a result of a change to the small claims limit for soft tissue road traffic accident injuries will be passed on to policyholders. (20350)

Harriett Baldwin: The pricing of insurance products is a commercial matter for individual insurers in which the Government does not seek to intervene. The motor insurance market is intensely competitive and the Government therefore expects that the insurance industry will pass on savings to consumers.

Some insurers have already committed to pass on all savings to consumers as a result of the proposed changes.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-16/20350/

Personal Injury: Compensation (5 January 2016)

Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to paragraph 1.143 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, what steps his Department took to ensure accuracy of the £2 billion quoted as the cost to insurers of whiplash claims; and if his Department will conduct its own estimate of that cost. (20499)

Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to paragraph 1.143 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, what the evidential basis is of the statement that a claimant culture exists in England and Wales in relation to whiplash claims. (20500)

Dominic Raab: The Government received and analysed data from numerous sources when formulating the announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The quoted figures were arrived at by combining published industry estimates along with data from government and other sources.

Government data, compiled by the Compensation Recovery Unit at the Department for Work and Pensions, indicates that claims volumes remain at historically high levels, some 50% higher than in 2006. Over the same period accident rates have fallen by around 26%. This is clear evidence that the system is in need of further reform, which is why on 25 November, in his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced tough new measures to control costs and reduce the number of unnecessary whiplash claims.

The Government will consult on the detail of the new reform package in due course and the consultation document will be accompanied by an impact assessment.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-16/20499/

Motor Vehicles: Insurance (5 January 2016)

Andy Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on proposals for an independent body to regulate the car insurance industry. (20349)

Andrew Jones: There are no proposals for a new independent body to regulate the car insurance industry.

Motor insurers are regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-16/20349/

Personal Injury: Compensation (14 December 2015)

Wayne David (Caerphilly): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to paragraph 1.143 of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, what the evidential basis is for the statement that whiplash claims cost the country £2 billion per year. (19208)

Dominic Raab: The government received and analysed data from numerous sources when formulating the announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. The quoted figures were arrived at by combining published industry estimates along with data from government and other sources.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-08/19208/

Wayne David (Caerphilly): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many whiplash claims there have been in each of the last five years. (19270)

Dominic Raab: Government data is compiled by the Compensation Recovery Unit at the Department for Work and Pensions. The figures for the number of whiplash claims are shown in the table below:

 

Year Total Motor PI Claims Total Whiplash (including claims for neck and back)
2010/11 790,000 740,000
2011/12 830,000 760,000
2012/13 820,000 750,000
2013/14 770,000 700,000
2014/15 760,000 690,000

 

[2009-10 = 674,997, 2008-09 = 625,072, 2007-08 = 551,905, 2006-07 = 518,821]

The Government remains concerned about the number of claims and the impact they have on motor insurance premiums. Despite an overall decrease since 2011/12, claims volumes are still at historically high levels, being some 50% higher than in 2006. In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor therefore announced tough new measures to control costs and reduce the number of unnecessary whiplash claims made.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-08/19270/

Personal Injury: Compensation (4 June 2015)

Jim Shannon (Strangford):To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce whiplash claim fraud; and what recent discussions he has had with the devolved administrations on this issue. [60]

Dominic Raab: The last Government worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders to develop an effective whiplash reform programme. New rules were implemented on 6 April 2015 to make sure that medical reports used in whiplash claims are obtained through the new MedCo IT portal. The new system also makes sure that solicitors are not able to obtain a report from an organisation with which they have a direct financial link.

These measures supplement reforms implemented on 1 October 2014 to fix the costs of initial medical reports at £180; to provide an expectation that there will usually only be one report; to prohibit the reporting expert from providing medical treatment to the claimant; to discourage insurers from using pre medical offers to settle; and to allow defendants to submit their version of events to the expert if necessary.

Further reforms to tackle fraudulent claims at source came into effect on 1 June 2015, when it became mandatory for claimant-solicitors to carry out a previous claims check on potential clients. In addition a robust new accreditation scheme for medical experts will be introduced on 1 January 2016 to help improve the quality of medical reports overall.

The Government’s whiplash reform programme only covers England and Wales as these issues are a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Ministry of Justice officials did, however, talk to colleagues from the devolved administrations during the development of the reform programme.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-05-27/60/

Further Questions and Answers:-

House of Lords starred question debate on whiplash: not very helpful!

PQ: government won’t identify insurers who will pass on ‘savings’

Percentage of fraudulent / genuine claims

Competition in the car insurance market

Passing on savings

Measurement of premium reduction since Jackson reforms

Would motor insurance premiums fall?

An up to date statement from the MoJ meeting re whiplash reforms

Will the govt intervene to ensure there is a reduction in car insurance?

Questions relating to providing an impact statement on fees, revenue, resources and portal

Have the Govt assessed how any changes may affect NHS resources?

Plans for meeting with representatives?

Effect on the operation of the new arrangements for obtaining medical reports?

Assessment of the level of potential reduction in recoupment of social security benefits paid to personal injury victims?

Questions relating to the number of litigants in person, effect on insurance company income, third party capture and numbers of claims.

Fixed recoverable costs regime for medical negligence cases?

An independent body to regulate the car insurance industry?

Will savings be passed on to policyholders?

The potential costs and benefits to business of changes to motor insurance?

Plans to consult the Justice Select Committee on introducing a new streamlined claims process for low cost medical negligence claims?

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