A group of Conservative MPs will meet justice secretary Liz Truss next week to urge her not to give up on whiplash reforms.
Croydon South MP Chris Philp (pictured) will lead the delegation to meet Truss on Monday, following reports last week that the lord chancellor was not minded to push ahead with any changes.
The personal injury sector has been waiting for the publication of a consultation since last autumn, when then-chancellor George Osborne said he wanted to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 and scrap general damages for minor soft tissue injuries.
Philp said he is concerned that enthusiasm for those reforms has waned and he has arranged a meeting with Truss to reiterate the case for change.
The MP told the Association of British Insurers motor conference in London he will argue that legislation is urgently needed.
‘I will be pointing out that fraud is out of control and adding £93 to everyone’s car insurance premium,’ Philp told the Gazette.
‘The public are being phoned and enticed to commit fraud. It is morally corrosive.’
Philp said he is minded to campaign for reforms to claims that follow a minor road traffic accident. He said a claims management company contacted him ‘incessantly’ and, when he explained he was not hurt, urged him to lie that his neck hurt.
Although insurers have expressed anxiety that reforms have been placed on the back-burner, the Ministry of Justice insists it is committed to cutting claim numbers and will publish details before the end of the year.
Conference delegates yesterday said they are still confident the government will follow through with promises to reform the sector.
Maurice Tulloch (pictured, speaking), global insurance chairman of Aviva, said Osborne’s reforms were still necessary, although he said any proposals must be balanced with a pledge that claimants who have suffered genuine injuries should receive compensation.
Tulloch said Aviva now defends 2,000 claims a year which it suspects are fraudulent, compared with 100 claims defended in previous years.
He admitted insurers have not been tough enough in defending claims in the past and said firms should take a long-term view rather than take the easier option of settling cases even where there are suspicions.
‘The financial outcome from defending so many claims is probably worse than if most claims had gone through,’ he said.
‘[But] insurers can earn customers’ trust by defending more spurious claims. Don’t settle because it’s cheaper – be tough, fight spurious claims and defend if necessary.’