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Whiplash Claims

Volume 563: debated on Thursday 16 May 2013

The Government share the widespread concerns about the disproportionate growth in whiplash claims and the impact they have on the price of motor insurance premiums. To address these issues, I announced to this House on 11 December 2012, Official Report, column 32WS, that the Government were launching a consultation on “Reducing the Number and Costs of Whiplash Claims”.

The consultation ran for 12 weeks and sought views from stakeholders on proposals to introduce independent medical panels and on whether to amend the small claims threshold for damages for personal injury claims. It committed the Government to review the submissions received and publish a response in spring 2013.

The consultation closed on 8 March. However, on 15 March the Transport Committee announced an inquiry into whiplash, which would include an examination of the Government’s consultation proposals.

The Government believe that, prior to taking any final decisions on whiplash reform, they should give due consideration to the views of the Transport Committee. The Government also believe that the impact of their recent civil reform programme on the price of motor insurance premiums needs to be assessed. Consumers should be rewarded with the lower litigation costs being reflected in lower insurance premiums.

For these reasons the Government have decided to defer publication of their formal response to the consultation until after the Committee has reported.

The Government’s consultation document was laid before Parliament when the consultation began. It is also available online at: