The United Kingdom is a country which has not long been dubbed the ‘whiplash capital of Europe’ and recently car accident compensation claims have been in the news again. As British motorist’s insurance premiums are on the rise once more, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has decided to step in, in order to check up on the insurance company’s claims that there are now other factors in play which are resulting in higher insurance premiums. The intervention of the OFT comes not-long after UK insurance companies claims that the UK legal system, and the road traffic accident portal which solicitors here work with, is the reason for the increase.
After a full enquiry, the Office of Fair Trading stated that rising insurance premiums may be a result of the ‘not at fault’ drivers involved in car accidents and the fact that they are generally taking on inflated costs for their car repairs and hire vehicles. This was, in turn, costing the ‘at fault’ driver’s insurance company more money in order to cover the car accident claim, thus further adding to the cost of insurance for drivers as a whole in the UK.
It is claimed by insurance companies that car accidents claims and the current legal process is the predominant factor driving up the insurance premiums for UK’s motorists, but car hire was not specifically discussed prior to this recent intervention by the OFT. A spokesperson for the Credit Hire Organisation (CHO), a company which represents car hire companies, spoke out against the claims by insurance companies. The CHO spokesperson stated that the car hire represented around 2% of the insurance industry’s total spending of £13 billion per year, hardly a significant quantity.
The original decision of the OFT to investigate the private motor insurance market came as a direct result of the insurance companies claiming that it was the legal process for car accidents causing the 40% increases to premiums. However. the Transport Select Committee subsequently identified that such claims were entirely unfounded and that the rise in insurance premiums due to car accident claims and the legal process was in fact closer to 12%. As a result of this, the Transport Committee is urging the government to change the law in such a way so that claims can continue to be paid but only if there is objective evidence for both the significant effect on the claimant’s life and the injury suffered. More jostling and evidence examination is expected to take place before a final decision is made on the car accident claims law