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Raising the small claims threshold will not reduce whiplash fraud

Before extending the scope of the road traffic accidents portal, the lord chancellor first needs to consider the dysfunction in the motor insurance sector, says Jean-Yves Gilg

5 August 2013

Let's all agree: bringing down the cost of car insurance is a good thing. Curbing fraudulent or exaggerated claims is a good thing too. Even more so if, as insurance companies claim, these add about £90 a year to the average motoring policy. Apparently we are already seeing the result of the hard work by insurers and the government in tackling 'compensation culture', with a steady drop in premiums in the past few years. In fact, although average premiums fell 34 per cent last year, they are still double the 2007 average.

Motor insurance is like professional indemnity. You're not legal without it. But on the open market, choice is only about the number of suppliers. Insurers are in the driving seat, both when it comes to setting premiums and when it comes to handling claims. Motorists are unhappy and MPs are a...

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