‘No one silver bullet’ to end high insurance rate woes

There’s ‘no one silver bullet’ to end the nation’s high car insurance rate woes, according to Transport Secretary Justine Greening, who presided over a Whitehall motor car insurance summit this week that saw proposals to increase availability of discount car insurance for young drivers and using independent medical panels to reduce whiplash claims.

The summit, which was hosted by the Department for Transport on 2 May in central London, brought consumer groups, car insurance companies, and five Government ministers from four separate departments, in an effort to find ways to reduce the cost of insurance for the British consumer.  The second summit of its kind this year, an original one was called to order in February and hosted by David Cameron, but while the insurance industry was represented at both meetings, representatives from the claims management and legal professions declined once more to be part of the discussion.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s head of corporate affairs, Graeme Trudgill, who attended the meeting, remarked that the government decided that it would examine the feasibility of employing an independent medical practitioner panel in order to evaluate whiplash claims for validity. The likelihood of a government consultation on such a topic is high, according to Mr Trudgill, though he said he had not seen any evidence of any official announcements on the subject as yet.

The creation of guidelines for GPs in order to provide a more complete understanding of whiplash when faced with a situation that required a diagnosis had also been discussed, the corporate affairs head remarked, adding that a discussion about how the insurance industry found it quite difficult to fight whiplash claims in the face of a medical diagnosis due to the low burden of proof in such cases.

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