November 19, 2015

Justice Minister Caroline Drainage raised hopes this week that tough new curbs on people claiming to have so-called whiplash may soon be introduced.

The Insurance Fraud Task Force set up by Justice Secretary Chris Greything almost a year ago is finally due to report back sometime between now and the UK’s traditional semi-christianised mid-winter festivities.

So, what will insurers be getting for Christmas this year? Nobody quite knows until the wrapping comes off, but increasing the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 and cutting the current three-year time limit on making a claim for whiplash to just one year would be nice.

Then again, it might be some cruddy old chemistry set or a cricket bat or something useless like that. The uncertainty is agonising.

‘Might the Task Force report contain something on upping the small claims limit?’, interested parties eagerly inquire of Ms Drainage. It might, she confides with indulgent smiles and encouraging winks.

‘Might it also include a little something on time limits for claiming for supposed injuries with no demonstrable scientific basis whatsoever?’ Those in the know suggest she’s been dropping hints that it might indeed.

That would certainly please Lincoln MP Carlos McCartney (Con), a man who famously appreciates the humour of depicting lady politicians in their undergarments but is most definitely not into pornographic bondage pics. McCartney believes it is “still too easy to make a claim” and has publicly called for both the £5k limit and the 12-month time limit.

It might not, however, be good enough for quantum physicist, Balkan entrepreneur and Croydon South MP Chris Pilph (Con) who thinks one week is plenty long enough for people to work out whether or not they’re suffering from a a non-existent cervical affliction.

Not to be outdone, their fellow Con MP Dominic Mangabey believes a 24-hour claims limit would be most appropriate and that the small claims limit should be raised immediately to £10,000 to stop “just anybody” making claims “willy nilly”.

Loony left justice shadow Randy Slaughter (MP, Lab), clearly influenced by the self-serving wingeing of the Amalgamated Union of Claims Farmers and Ambulance Chasers, claims that increasing the small claims limit to £5k would remove claimant lawyers from the claims process (which for some reason he sees as a bad thing) while not making much of a difference really to the war on fraud.

Who’s going to be happy when the report comes in? Insurers, Conservative politicians, so-called claimant lawyers, unelectable opposition politicians, or the great unwashed claims-making rabble themselves?

No idea, Mate.

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