August 2, 2013

Insurance industry slammed by Transport Committee, reported leading bodyshop publication Bodyshop Mag this week.

A mild case of over-egging, perhaps, but it is certainly gravely disappointing that – after all the time insurers have spent explaining to politicians that the way to deal with whiplash claims is to stop them at source – many of the b*ggers are still proposing s*lutions that will entail c*nsiderable time, effort and general f*rt-*rseing about on the p*rt of insurers.

Do these people not realise that time is money?

Apparently not! A newly published paper by the House of Commons Transport Select Committee whinges on about insurers being opaque (i.e. the opposite of transparent or ‘clear’ – the very quality everyone in public life is currently obsessed with claiming, as in “let me be absolutely clear:” [insert prevaricative obfuscation of choice]).

The Committee has even had the temerity to suggest that insurers are running a disorderly house, declaring loftily: “Insurers must immediately put their house in order and end practices which encourage fraud and exaggeration … if not, the government should take steps to protect motorists.” Protect motorists from insurers?! What planet are these people living on?! Surely we have all agreed that government’s role is to protect insurers from lying cheating something-for-nothing motorists!

And what exactly are these “practices which encourage fraud and exaggeration”? Unless they mean paying out whiplash claims (even vaguely dodgy ones) rather than waste vast amounts of precious time and energy looking into them in detail (which insurers wouldn’t have to if politicians just got on and banned them – like they were supposed to have been doing!).

The committee seems to want to have it both ways. On the one hand, insurers are castigated for being too free with their data, in supplying the informational seeds from which claims farmers grow many of their thriving crops of whiplash claims in the first place, and, on the other, not free enough, by failing to provide “consistent, industry-wide data on fraudulent or exaggerated personal injury claims” so that next time the committee gets together it might have some vague idea what the h*ll it is looking at/talking about.

In reality, the Committee appears to have spent most of its time discussing and ultimately coming to doubt the intractably abstruse proposition, originally advanced by motor insurers, that the UK is “the whiplash capital of the world”. The net result of these deliberations was the formulation of a strongly worded demand that insurers’ representatives justify their claim and that the government carry out historical studies on whiplash going back to the mid-19th Century. Etc. Etc.

It’s a bleedin’ figure of speech, you morons! Being a more or less fictional type of neck injury, rather than a country or state, whiplash does not have a capital, neither in the UK (capital, London) nor anywhere else. It frankly b*ggers belief that they should waste taxpayers’ hard earned cash on nonsense such as this!

Among the committee’s proposals are that people claiming for whiplash handouts should maybe go and see a doctor or something first, that three years may be a rather too generous period of time within which to allow people to think about whether they maybe hurt their necks a bit when they had that prang whenever it was, that there should be a minister for whiplash, that a crack team of whiplash doctors should be assembled and required to carry bits of paper officially accrediting them as members of HMG Team Whiplash, that medical reports should be circulated to all and sundry as a matter of course, and, indeed, that everyone should share lots more information with everyone else.

The most frustrating bit of this whole farage, however, is that the committee has recommended the Government re-think its plans to increase the threshold for cases to be dealt with in the small claims court from £1,000 to £5,000.

Let’s just hope Cameron and co. don’t let any of this nonsense influence their thinking or deflect them from the firm resolve to end whiplash claims once and for all.

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