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Damages for whiplash injuries

Part of Civil Liability Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 23rd October 2018.

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Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative, Spelthorne 4:00 pm, 23rd October 2018

I agree with my hon. Friend. He is right that the insurance companies have in the past—I stress in the past—had a questionable record on some of these issues, but I repeat what I said on Second Reading: it is entirely unhelpful to bash the insurance industry or denounce it as a bunch of shysters who are ripping the public off. As I said in that debate, the insurance industry is one of our world-leading industries. We should celebrate it and be grateful for it: our insurance industry is a world-beating industry. There are not that many industries left in Britain that we can call truly world class, but the insurance industry happens to be one that is. It was nauseating and disconcerting on Second Reading—it has not happened so much today—to hear speaker after speaker on the Opposition Benches denouncing the insurance industry. They were scandalised that, God forbid, the industry should make profits, as though making a profit were in itself a moral crime. We have to try to shift the nature of the debate. The insurance industry is a world-beating industry. As my hon. Friend Robert Neill has suggested, we need to have some oversight to ensure that savings are passed through to the customers, our constituents.