Campaigners call for ONS to collate motor data for policymakers

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Exclusive: Campaigners have called for the Office of National Statistics to collate motor insurance statistics for use in parliament.

Access to Justice has argued that statistics collected by insurers should be moved from the Association of British Insurers to the ONS, claiming this will abate “widespread concern” that motor insurance data “may not be used in the public interest”.

The call comes ahead of the second reading of the Civil Liability Bill on Tuesday.

The ABI however, is adament that its data is objective and accurate.

James Dalton, director, general insurance policy, Association of British Insurers, said: “The insurance industry has nothing to hide. Our publicly available data gives a very accurate and objective picture of the market and, when added to the government’s own figures, the case in support of the government’s whiplash reforms becomes overwhelming.

“Frankly, I think the ONS has got better things to do. The real issue here is that a broken system is being exploited by some claimant lawyers.

“Road accident insurance claims are going up while road casualties are at record lows and for every £1 in compensation paid to customers, an additional 47p goes to lawyers. We need urgent reform to help millions of motorists who are paying for this.”

A2J spokesman Andrew Twambley said: “Only 20% of the public think insurers are trustworthy, yet the statistics insurers provide, for example on car insurance prices, or the level of insurance fraud, are often accepted at face value by policymakers.

“Motor insurance is a compulsory purchase that costs households £14bn each year, or £515 per household. It is only right that, when ministers propose to make controversial changes to the law on compensation payouts for road traffic accidents, the data set they use to justify the reforms is authentic, impartial and trustworthy.”

There are several sources that report motor insurance statistics, including the AA and Confused.com.

The latest AA British Insurance Premium Index reported that car insurance premiums peaked at their highest average cost ever during Q2 2017 following sustained increases over three years, but have fallen steadily since then to an average premium of £661.

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