Whiplash bill clears final hurdle before receiving Royal Assent

Stop whiplash

The Civil Liability Bill has been sent for Royal Assent after final amendments were approved by the House of Lords yesterday.

The Bill returned to the House of Lords yesterday for consideration of amendments. It was passed to soon receive Royal Assent.

The legislation proposes to raise the small claims limit for road traffic accidents from its current level of £1000, to £5000. In addition, it proposes a new system for raising the discount rate.

The changes will come into force from April 2020.

Speaking to the Lords, Ministry of Justice spokesman, Lord Keen of Elie said: “The Civil Liability Bill will provide effective measures to tackle the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims, which will lead to lower insurance premiums for ordinary motorists. It will also create a better system for setting the personal injury discount rate.”

Earlier in the day, he appeared at the Association of British Insurers’ motor conference. He said there would be a ‘robust’ system in place to monitor whether discount rate savings.

Speaking to the Lords, he clarified that the government would “hold insurers to account against their public commitment to pass on savings from the Bill in a rigorous but proportionate way, without risking anti-competitive or overly interventionist practices”.

The industry will be expected to provide information to the FCA for at least three years starting from 1 April 2020. The new regulation will set out that insurers should return their information to the FCA by April 2024.

Martin Milliner, claims director of LV said: “It’s great to finally see the Civil Liability Bill get rubber-stamped in Parliament. This signals a real boost to household incomes at a time of uncertainty in the country. Personal injury lawyers will say that the proposed legislation is unfair to customers but the reality is that it couldn’t be further from the truth. This legislation has been designed to help provide clarity for customers and they should be pleased that action is being taken to help reduce insurance bills.”

Rob Townend, managing director of Aviva’s UK General Insurance said: “The advance of The Civil Liability Bill through Parliament is a victory for consumers. The bill, which has now cleared its final legislative hurdle before being signed into law, is fantastic news and represents a fairer system which balances care and compensation for genuine injuries while removing excess costs. The result will help to make motor insurance more affordable for us all.

“Aviva has long-championed the whiplash reforms, which will not just cut the cost of motor insurance, but should also bring an end to the era of crash for cash, injury-related nuisance calls and the ‘have a go’ mentality behind opportunistic minor injury claims – all of which have combined to push up the cost of motor insurance for years.

“Aviva, like most insurers, has pledged to pass on 100% of the benefit from these reforms to our customers.”



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