Julian Knight: Whiplash away! As claims create ever-rising premiums
Insurers need show ministers how they will tackle compensation culture
Sunday 29 April 2012
This week the insurance industry will lay out for the Government exactly how it is tackling the problem of escalating car insurance premiums.
Having been brought to task over referral fees – where insurers sold on accident details to claims companies – the industry will come down hard on our endemic compensation culture.
Whiplash, which adds around £90 a year to each premium, is one of the biggest cons going. If you need proof: in the past five years the number of road accidents have fallen, yet whiplash claims have risen by a third. The average cost of a whiplash claim to insurers, from policyholders going through a solicitor, is £12,500, but just £2,500 finds its way to the claimant, the rest is swallowed in fees.
Ending our compensation culture is central to reducing premiums. Making whiplash harder to claim is an obvious step.
The attitude of insurers to younger drivers is less commendable. I know accident figures for young motorists are bad, but without experience they can't improve to become less of a risk. At the moment, all that is happening is ever-higher premiums and a broadening of the age at which a driver is deemed "young". Once, you could expect to see your premiums fall beyond age 21, and then it was 25, now, increasingly, it's 30. The ridiculous cost of premiums for the young encourages fraud.
The industry will tell ministers more about its roll-out of telemetrics (which monitor driving habits to set premiums) and call for a total ban on alcohol for drivers and the end of crammer test courses. This is all sensible stuff, but something needs to be done about pricing now. Perhaps a more flexible approach to building up a no-claims discount quickly, or a change in the treatment of youngsters who are named drivers on their parents' policies. I'd also like to see more transparency on extra policy charges, such as those levied for changing address. It costs pennies to make a change but, too often, the charge runs into pounds.
All in all, I'm not a fan of Government market interference, nor of No 10 summit meetings, but it does look as if we could be moving in the right direction. But the industry still has a long way to go. The final proof will only come at premium renewal time.
Bye bye, Shapps?
Jeremy Hunt's travails have filled me with hope that we could soon be rid of Housing minister Grant Shapps via an enforced reshuffle. The multi-millionaire is as remote from the real world as duck-house building and moat-cleaning MPs of yore.
Last week, on the BBC's Radio 4's Today, Mr Shapps claimed that rents were falling – erm, where exactly? – and prefers to spend his time on empty gestures and promoting policies harking back to Thatcherism, such as revamping Right to Buy.
His opposition to much needed reform of the managing agent/freeholder sector was condemned in a House of Lords debate last week. Baroness Gardner of Parkes pointed out how two million homeowners are exposed to fleecing by practices which in the US would be clear fraud. Meanwhile, the never-ending Office of Fair Trading "investigation" into fees relating to the retirement properties market is leaving many of the most flagrant abuses untouched, according to Bruce Moore, the chief executive of Hanover Housing. It's all very depressing.
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £750 per day: Cornwallis Elt : SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER- HR- ORACLE- ASS...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Training and Benefits : Harrington Starr: A leadin...
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior Manager in...
attractive: Citifocus: Highly prestigious Investment Management house based in...
Day In a Page
A Grade II-listed home with six bedrooms, secluded landscaped gardens and views across Hadley Green
A Grade II-listed mansion with two apartments and a cottage, near Gretna Green
A three-bedroom Grade II-listed mews house with vaulted ceilings and roof garden
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.