MPs demand backlash against whiplash

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INSURERS must be forced to wait for medical reports before settling whiplash claims to try to curb the cost of car insurance, according to MPs.

A report out today also recommends a ban on lawyers offering incentives such as tablet computers to encourage people to make claims.

But the Transport Committee of MPs also warns against moving too quickly on a law allowing courts to “strike out” dishonest claims because of the legal problems that could be created.

Concerns have grown in recent years that insurance companies have become too quick to settle whiplash claims brought by people helped by no-win no-fee lawyers.

Committee chairman Louise Ellman said: “This is our fourth report on the cost of motor insurance and while premiums are now falling, aspects of the market remain dysfunctional and have encouraged criminality to take root.

“Further action is still required to tackle fraud whilst protecting genuine claimants.”

The report warns that changes to the rules on who can run law firms has allowed solicitors to secure medical reports from experts who are not genuinely independent.

MPs also want to see the sharing of information about potentially fraudulent claims to be made compulsory.

And they recommend the Government put pressure on the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority to stop lawyers increasing their income in compensation claim cases by commissioning unnecessary psychological assessments.