Whiplash Insurance Claims Face Fraud Crackdown
Fake whiplash claimants are facing a fresh crackdown under Government plans to tackle the rising cost of motoring in Britain.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said the measures would cut insurance premiums for all drivers by targeting "whiplash fraudsters".
From now on only evidence from accredited professionals will be considered when whiplash claims are assessed.
The Government also plans to freeze the price of an MOT at £54.85 until 2015 and motorway service stations will be forced to advertise their petrol prices on signs along the route to increase competition.
"We are turning the tide on the compensation culture and helping hard-working people by tackling high insurance premiums and other motoring costs," said Mr Grayling.
"We have already helped families by cutting income tax for 25 million people by raising their personal allowance, by freezing council tax and by helping with tax free childcare for example. But we want to do more.
"It's not right that people who cheat the insurance system get away with it while forcing up the price for everyone else, so we are now going after whiplash fraudsters and will keep on driving premiums down."
There were more than 500,000 whiplash claims in the UK last year, costing the insurance industry some £2bn.
Roads minister Robert Goodwill said: "The costs of owning and running a car are felt by millions of households and businesses across the nation. The Government is determined to help keep those costs down.
"That is why we are freezing the price for an MOT test and looking again at the costs associated with getting a driving licence.
"We also want to make it easier for people to get a better deal on fuel at motorway service stations, for instance through a trial of motorway signs that will show motorists the different fuel prices on offer on their route."
New statistics from the AA show motor insurance premiums are now falling at the fastest rate since 1994 - a fall of 12.3% in the year to October for an average comprehensive insurance policy, from £648 in October 2012 to £568 in October 2013.
Each whiplash compensation payout costs an average of £2,400 insurers say, with an additional £2,000 in legal costs.