Motor insurers will call for new laws to cut whiplash injury claims when they meet Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday, saying the epidemic is costing it 2 billion pounds a year and forcing car insurance higher.
The industry will push for measures including a minimum speed threshold for whiplash payouts in an effort to stop the spiralling trend, the Association of British Insurers said.
Average car insurance premiums soared by 40 percent in the year to March 2011 as insurers sought to recoup a sharp rise in bodily injury claims blamed by the industry on the growing influence of no win, no fee lawyers.
We welcome the personal interest of the Prime Minister in this and the government's willingness to consider radical reforms which will be necessary to tackle the UK's compensation culture, ABI Director General Otto Thoresen said in a statement.
Britain's motor insurance industry has paid out more in claims than it has taken in in premiums every year since 1994, reflecting stiff competition and steadily rising claims.
The government said in September it would ban lawyers from paying to obtain the details of accident victims, a practice which insurers say has encouraged spurious and exaggerated claims.
The meeting with David Cameron will be attended by motor insurers including Royal Bank of Scotland, Admiral, Axa, Aviva, and Zurich Financial Services.
The insurers will also call for better training and a zero alcohol limit for young drivers, who pay the highest motor insurance premiums as they are statistically more likely to crash.
While this is unlikely to lead to an immediate reduction in claims and premiums, the intervention of the Prime Minister shows the determination from government to get to grips with this issue, Oriel Securities analyst Marcus Barnard wrote in a note.
(Reporting by Myles Neligan; editing by Sophie Walker)