We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Damages for whiplash injuries

Part of Civil Liability Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 23rd October 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative, Spelthorne 3:45 pm, 23rd October 2018

The hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. It may well be the case that the companies are paying early, and clearly if they are paying early, people will be incentivised to make claims. The hon. Gentleman’s colleagues, however, are suggesting that no fraudulent claims are ever made, or that only a tiny proportion of claims are fraudulent. Logically, the more that insurers pay early, the more incentive there is to make a fraudulent claim. That is pure logic, and no great subtlety is required to appreciate it.

We have a problem. I think it entirely legitimate for insurers to pay out in order to forgo expensive legal costs. They have to manage their books and their businesses on a daily basis, and they will take a hit—if that is the right way to describe it—in order to facilitate business and manage cash flow. As we have heard throughout the debate, they are quite likely to make early payments, and as the hon. Gentleman has suggested, the more an insurer pays early, the greater incentive that gives someone to make a fraudulent or insubstantial claim.