UK Government and Insurance Industry discuss Compensation Culture

The British Prime Minister recently met with representatives from the UK insurance industry, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and consumer and business groups to discuss the rising...

The British Prime Minister recently met with representatives from the UK insurance industry, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and consumer and business groups to discuss the rising motor insurance premiums that many UK drivers are facing.

There was a commitment from the Prime Minister that the Government will take action to deal with what many view as a “compensation culture” in the UK, reduce legal costs and cut health and safety red tape. The insurance industry in return committed to pass any savings they made on to consumers and both parties agreed to work together in future on this.

Premiums in the UK have increased considerably over recent years and one of the reasons for this, many believe, is due to claims for whiplash injury and subsequent compensation payments. Britain has been dubbed ‘the whiplash capital of Europe” with claims rising by a third in the last three years. In the UK the price of an average motor insurance policy has increased by 17% on last year. For younger drivers, the costs are even higher.

ICMIF member Co-operative Insurance was invited to attend the meeting and was represented by Director of General Insurance, David Neave. One of the possible solutions discussed was the increased use of smartbox technology, such as telematics, for young drivers, to help bring down the price of their insurance premiums. This is something that Co-operative Insurance has offered to young drivers for some time with great success. Telematics require drivers to adopt a safer driving style, as it measures things like speed, braking and the types of roads used.

“This was an excellent opportunity for the UK insurance industry to highlight the key issues which it currently faces,” said David Neave.

“In particular, we’re pleased the government wanted to discuss the future role of telematics in reducing the cost of insurance, especially for young motorists,” he added.

The Co-operative is hopeful the insurance summit with Prime Minister David Cameron will also lead to stamping out fraudulent personal injury claims while continuing to settle genuine ones.

“We hope this meeting will have been key to cleaning up some of the less desirable practices that currently exist within the system,” he continued. “It should ultimately lead to an improvement in the UK’s record of exaggerated personal injury claims and allow us as an industry to strike the right balance between promoting easy access to compensation for genuine claimants while discouraging exaggerated or fraudulent claims.”

The full Statement on outcomes following the Downing Street Insurance Summit can be found at the Prime Minister’s official web site.

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