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U.K. Lawmakers to Probe Cost of Insurance Whiplash Claims

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March 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. lawmakers will probe how far auto-insurance costs are being raised by whiplash claims now estimated by insurers at 1,500 a day.

The House of Commons Transport Committee called in London today for written testimony on whiplash claims and said it plans to hold hearings with witnesses before publishing its findings in the summer.

“It is vitally important for policy makers to understand the reasons for the very high cost of motor insurance, especially for young drivers, and to take steps to bring that cost down,” Louise Ellman, the opposition Labour Party lawmaker who heads the panel, said in an e-mailed statement. “Whiplash claims undoubtedly play a part in driving up the cost of motor insurance, but access to justice for injured people must be preserved.”

The Association of British Insurers called two days ago for anyone claiming a whiplash injury to undergo a medical examination. It said 1,500 people a day are now submitting whiplash claims, which have risen by nearly a quarter over four years even as the number of road accidents has fallen. Such claims cost 2 billion pounds ($3 billion) a year, adding 90 pounds to the average auto-insurance premium, the ABI said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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