The AA has welcomed the successful passage of the Civil Liabilities Bill through its third stage in the House of Commons.
Janet Connor, the AA’s director of insurance says: “This means that the much-delayed Bill, at the third attempt, is now on track to become law in 2020.
“Of note is that secondary legislation will see the small claims track for minor injuries will be raised from £1,000 to £5,000 for road traffic accident injury claims and to £2,000 or other personal injuries in secondary legislation. This means that legal costs would not usually be awarded for claims below £5,000. This should stop the huge number of cold-call claim firms encouraging people to make claims for injuries they may not even have suffered or for minor aches and pains that ordinarily, they would ignore.”
The AA’s own research among over 10,000 drivers, shows that nearly two-thirds (63%) say they have received such nuisance calls over the past 12 months, 88% of whom have been called on multiple occasions. Firms often masquerade under the name of respected organisations including one that claims to be the AA.
The Bill also seeks to cap damages for whiplash claims and ban settlements that are struck without medical evidence, as well as change the way that the so-called ‘discount rate’ for serious, long-term injury is set.
Says Connor: “There is no doubt that this Bill and its associated secondary legislation will help reduce insurance injury claims costs which are by far the highest in Europe. It’s estimated that it will bring the average cost of an annual car insurance premium down by around £35 by passing on the savings made.
“According to the AA’s British Insurance Premium Index, published today (24 October), the average quoted premium for a comprehensive car insurance policy fell for the fifth quarter in succession, to £628 – and has fallen by almost 10% in 12 months, thanks in part to the expectation of savings that would result from the Bill.
“The car insurance industry is extremely competitive – and if savings are made in costs, they will be passed on to customers. Those firms that don’t pass the savings on will lose business.
“This news should be greeted by drivers as a victory for common sense and put an end to the insidious cold-call claims industry.”