Personal Injury Law

Personal Injury Law

14 June 2016

Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) (Lab)

What assessment he has made of the potential effect of planned changes to personal injury law and whiplash claims on access to justice. [905400]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Shailesh Vara)

The Government remain concerned about the number and cost of whiplash claims, particularly the impact on insurance premiums, and have announced robust new measures to tackle the problem. We will consult on the detail in due course, and the consultation will be accompanied by a thorough impact assessment.


Mary Glindon

How does the Minister respond to my constituents who have genuine concerns about the evidence base for the proposed reforms, and believe that they are unjust and will not deliver the right and proper compensation for people who were injured through negligence?


Mr Vara

The Government’s proposed reforms will ensure that the current cost of £2 billion annually for whiplash claims should be reduced to £1 billion for the insurance industry. They will also ensure that the average person’s insurance premium should go down by up to £50.


David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con)

In the UK, 80% of road traffic accidents generate a whiplash claim; in France, 3% of road traffic accidents generate a whiplash claim. In the UK, whiplash claims are increasing as accidents decrease; in France, it is the other way round. Insurance premiums in the UK are 50% higher, meaning that many young people cannot afford insurance. Will the Government act to get this sorted out?


Mr Vara

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for making that point. He is absolutely right to say that it is important, to benefit all our constituents, that we deal with this. The way to do so is through our proposed reforms, on which there will be a consultation in the not too distant future. That will ensure that premiums go down.


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