Bloomberg News

Cameron to Meet U.K. Insurers to Discuss Rising Car Premiums

February 15, 2012

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will meet representatives of insurance companies today to discuss ways to reduce the number of lawsuits, with the goal of cutting car premiums.

The average cost of insuring a car rose 17 percent last year to 410 pounds ($650), according to Cameron’s office. The average premium for a young male driver is almost 3,000 pounds, with young women paying just over half that. Insurers say much of this is the result of record numbers of people suing for whiplash injuries, which the Association of British Insurers says adds 90 pounds to the average premium.

The government will pledge to cut the number of whiplash claims by requiring more medical evidence. It will also reduce the fees lawyers can earn from small personal injury claims. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. in Cameron’s London office.

“I am determined to tackle this damaging compensation culture which has been pushing up premiums,” Cameron will say, according to his office. “I want to stop trivial claims, free up businesses from the stranglehold of health-and-safety red tape and look at ways we can bring costs down.”

Lawmakers blamed insurers last month for “sharp practices” including colluding with no-win no-fee lawyers and car-rental firms to ramp up costs for rivals.

--Editors: Andrew Atkinson, James Hertling

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net;

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


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