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Cabinet ministers hold summit to reduce car insurance premiums

A summit of top brass cabinet ministers was held last week to tackle the chronic increases in car insurance premiums.

David Cameron met with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and leading insurance firms to discuss ways to slash the number of whiplash claims forcing up car insurance premiums in Britain.

The Prime Minister made it clear that a ‘damaging compensation culture’ has been responsible for pushing up premiums.

There are currently 1,500 whiplash claims made every day in the UK, costing the insurance industry £2bn a year.

If you’ve ever had a crash, you’ve more than likely been hassled by phone calls in the early evening, telling you that you are entitled to compensation. Lawyers can earn a fee of £1,200 from low value personal injury claims, so the motivation for processing so many of these claims is all too apparent.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: "From texting and cold-calling drivers involved in accidents, to running high profile advertising campaigns, lawyers are encouraging people to claim for whiplash injuries sustained in the most minor of incidents - which barely damage the car's paintwork, never mind its driver.”

"As Transport Secretary I believe it is time to confront these issues and I'm determined to take a serious look at what can be done. Premiums are not simply the price of an insurance policy, they are a contract of mutual responsibility and insurers must live up to their side of the bargain. It is time for them to get a grip and put their houses in order."

Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance at the ABI, echoed the frustrations of ministers, saying: "Honest motorists have rightly had enough of paying for ambulance chasing lawyers, claims management companies and fraudsters who milk the compensation merry go round through higher premiums.”

Despite upsetting the Law Society, who clearly felt that they too should have been invited to the party, but weren’t, Cameron said that following discussions at the summit, insurers had committed to adjust premiums to reflect any reductions in legal costs.  In short, if more people stop claiming for whiplash, the cost to insurers will reduce and they ‘promise’ to pass the savings back to the customer.

Cameron added: “The insurance industry plays such an important part in all our lives - it is there to help when we are at our most vulnerable and at greatest need. But I want to ensure that we all do what we can to help people through this difficult time.”