Transport Committee launches new inquiry into whiplash

15 March 2013

New inquiry: whiplash terms of reference and call for evidence

The Transport Committee is today calling for evidence on reducing the number and costs of whiplash claims, following up its recent inquiries into the cost of motor insurance.

The Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP, has said:

“It is vitally important for policymakers 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. Whiplash claims undoubtedly play a part in driving up the cost of motor insurance, but access to justice for injured people must be preserved. We want to hear the arguments on these points and will publish a report in the summer about the best way forward on this difficult issue.”

The Committee intends to hear oral evidence later in the year on the Ministry of Justice consultation paper on this issue, Reducing the number and costs of Whiplash Claims. In particular, it would like to receive written evidence on the following points:

  • Whether the Government is correct in describing Great Britain as the “whiplash capital of the world”
  • Whether it is correct to say that the costs of whiplash claims add £90 to the average premium and, if so, what proportion of this additional cost is due to “exaggerated, misrepresented or fabricated” claims
  • Whether the proposals put forward by the Government, in relation to medical evidence of whiplash and incentives to challenge fraudulent or exaggerated claims, are likely to reduce motor insurance premiums and, if so, to what extent
  • The likely impact of the proposals on access to justice for claimants who are genuinely injured
  • Whether there are other steps which the Government should be taking to reduce the cost of motor insurance.

We would be grateful to receive written submissions by Monday 15 April. Submissions should clearly indicate whether or not they have been written specifically for the Committee. The Committee would be content to receive material prepared in response to the Ministry of Justice consultation but the Committee normally only publishes submissions prepared specifically in response to its own calls for evidence.

Notes on the submission of written evidence
It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Written submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A summary of the main points at the start of the submission is sometimes helpful.

2. Evidence should be submitted by e-mail to in Word or Rich Text format, with as little use of colour and images as possible. If you wish to submit written evidence to the Committee in another format you must contact a member of staff to discuss this. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.

3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee’s property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. If the Committee decides to accept your contribution as evidence we will email you formally accepting it as such. You may publicise or publish your submission yourself, once you receive the formal acceptance of your evidence to the Committee. When doing so, please indicate that it has been submitted to the Committee.

4. The Committee will publish the majority of written evidence that is received, but some submissions will be placed in the Parliamentary Archives for public inspection rather than being printed or published online. If you do not wish your submission to be made public, you must clearly say so, and should contact a member of staff to discuss this. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material or correspondence sent to other parties, formal submissions of evidence should be original work produced for the Committee and not published elsewhere.

5. Committee staff are happy to give more detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee, or further advice on any aspect of the Committee’s work, by phone or e-mail.

Additional information on submitting evidence to a Select Committee is available online in the House of Commons Guide to Witnesses. (PDF PDF 2.46 MB)

Image: iStockphoto

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