BIBA calls for reduction in notification period in Whiplash response

17th January 2017

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has responded to a Government consultation on whiplash and soft tissue injuries, calling for a reduction of the notification period from three years to one in order to reduce levels of fraud.

BIBA Head of Corporate Affairs, Andy Thornley, said: “There is a high correlation between the length of time between an accident occurring and the levels of fraud witnessed. Restricting the period that claims can be brought in to one year would allow people who are genuinely injured to make claims, whilst reducing the ability of claims farmers to trawl for business.”

BIBA also called for clarification that motorcyclists, pedal cyclists and pedestrians are not caught under the same definition of ‘soft tissue injury’. The preferred definition by Government relates to ‘occupants of a motor vehicle’ and BIBA argues that injuries sustained by these groups tend to be more serious and less likely to be subject to fraud.

Thornley continued: “BIBA members told us that injuries suffered by pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists tend to be more serious than for many of those for occupants of motor vehicles and less likely to be presented as fraud. Therefore, it seems sensible for the Government to exclude these groups from the reforms.”

BIBA also called for the Government to identify a suitable legislative vehicle to bring claims management companies under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority – carrying forward the recommendations from the Brady review. The recommendations were accepted in Budget 2016, yet little progress has been made to date.

Thornley concluded: “BIBA pressed the case for CMC regulation in the Brady review and we were pleased with the outcome; however, the timetable for actioning this is too long. We believe this will have a huge impact on reducing fraudulent claims and call upon Government to speed this process up by identifying a Bill in which to make the necessary legislative changes needed.”

The consultation has now closed and Government has promised to respond by Friday 7 April 2017.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  1. For further information please contact:

    BIBA press office:
    Pam Quinn, Head of Communications
    020 7397 0223
    quinnp@biba.org.uk

Leighann Forsyth; Deputy Head of Communications
020 7397 0223
forsythl@biba.org.uk

 

  1. About the British Insurance Brokers’ Association

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.

BIBA membership includes just under 2,000 regulated firms, employing more than 100,000 staff.  General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy, they arrange 52% of all general insurance and 78% of all commercial insurance business. Insurance brokers put their customers’ interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.

BIBA helps more than 250,000 people a year to access insurance protection through its Find a Broker service, both online and via the telephone.

BIBA is the voice of the sector advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.