RAC urges Government to crack down on bogus insurance claims

RAC urges Government to crack down on bogus insurance claims
The Government must take action on fraudulent whiplash claims to help drive down premiums for law-abiding motorists, according to the RAC.

Estimates suggest that bogus insurance claims could be costing insurers as much as £3 million a day, with drivers left to pick up the bill in higher premiums.

In the last Autumn Statement, former Chancellor George Osborne announced measures to crack down on illegal claims and strengthen regulations.

Mr Osborne launched an official consultation on the issue of fraudulent insurance claims, but 12 months later progress on the issue appears to have stalled.

Ministers must now push the consultation forward to ensure that the problem is dealt with once and for all, according to the RAC’s Insurance director Mark Godfrey.

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“We are now almost 12 months on from the Chancellor announcing that these bogus claims would be tackled once and for all, and we don’t seem to be any further on,” Mr Godfrey said.

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“It is difficult to understand what the delay has been, but it essential that the Government works with the industry in a consultation process to identify actions which will have the desired effect of reducing fraud while, at the same time, providing adequate protection and support for those injured parties with legitimate claims.”

Mr Godfrey went on to say that “law-abiding motorists are sick to the back teeth with bogus whiplash and other fraudulent activity”, highlighting findings from the RAC’s latest Report on Motoring showing growing concern over the rising cost of insurance.

In the 2016 report, high insurance premiums were found to be the biggest worry for drivers – ahead even of concern over the price of fuel.

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As fraudulent whiplash claims now contribute so significantly to the cost of a policy, it is essential for the Government to take a tough stance on the issue, Mr Godfrey said.

He added: “We need the Government to step up and accelerate consultation on this so that appropriate changes can be put in place to ultimately help reduce insurance premiums for every motorist.”

Separate findings from the RAC’s Report on Motoring have already had a dramatic effect on Government policy.

Ministers are set to double the penalties for illegal mobile phone use while driving after the research revealed that the problem has reached shocking new levels.

Under the proposals, which would come into force next year, the minimum fine drivers will receive if they are caught using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel will rise from £100 to £200.

This will be accompanied by an increase in the amount of penalty points incurred from three to six, the Department for Transport has said.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.