Press release:

Insurers must stomach compensation reforms, says uSwitch

Following the news that Justice Secretary Liz Truss is launching a consultation into the discount rate of the personal injury compensation scheme, new data from uSwitch.com reveals more than four in five consumers (83%) don’t believe insurers should increase the cost of insurance premiums to cover additional costs brought on by the compensation law changes[1]. Nearly three-quarters (70%) also agree that insurers should be responsible for paying the whole compensation sum to the victim of an accident, rather than a reduced rate that accounts for interest earned by investing the pay out[2].

However, with the current reforms meaning car insurance costs could rise by up to £300 for older drivers, three in five (58%) said they don’t think the changes are a good idea[3]. uSwitch is calling on insurers to absorb the cost of these reforms rather than passing them onto customers.

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “Insurers must face up to the fact that compensation reform is overdue. The Ministry of Justice is right to protect the rights of claimants seeking full and fair compensation and we hope this latest consultation doesn’t see insurers shirking their responsibilities.

“Let us not forget that insurers have only just won a huge victory on recent whiplash reforms, which is likely to reduce the number of claimants who will receive a pay out. Passing on the cost of the amended discount rate would be a gross example of the insurers having their cake and eating it too.”

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

 

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Notes to editors

Research carried out online with the uSwitch.com Consumer Opinion Panel between 14.03.17 and 21.03.17 amongst a sample of 2,921 GB adults.

  1. When asked “Do you think insurers should be allowed to increase the cost of insurance premiums to cover this additional cost?”, 82.9% answered “No”
  2. When asked “Should insurers be responsible for paying the whole compensation sum to the victim of an accident?“, 69.6% answered “Yes”
  3. When asked “Do you believe the proposed changes are a good idea”, 58% answered “No”

When answering the questions above, respondents were given the following context:

Recently, the government proposed changes to the compensation rates for victims of car accidents that car insurers pay out in the result of an accident.  Previously, insurers would only have to pay 97.5% of the total compensation fee, as it was assumed the victim would invest part of their compensation to make up for the 2.5% remaining. Now the Ministry of Justice has decided to reduce the discount rate from 2.5% to minus 0.75%. This will result in more money for the victim, but a higher cost for the insurer.

About us

uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, home phone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and insurance.

uSwitch customers have the option to create an account which will prompt them when their current broadband, credit card, energy, insurance and mobile deals are coming to an end. For energy customers, the account can also automatically monitor the market and notify them when they can move to a cheaper tariff - making future comparisons even simpler and faster. In 2016, uSwitch saved UK consumers over £320m on their energy bills alone.

Broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and to identify the best broadband provider for their postcode.

The uSwitch mobile app allows customers to compare energy and broadband deals. Energy customers can compare deals in seconds by scanning the QR code on their energy bill. The app won 'Most Innovative Use of Mobile' and the 'Chairman's Award' at The DRUM Marketing on Mobile Awards 2017. Consumers voted it Most Popular Website (Comparison category) in the Website of the Year Awards 2016.

uSwitch was the first comparison site to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark, recognising that it has clear language, is accessible and easy to use.

uSwitch has a UK contact centre which is manned by energy and broadband experts. The ‘Send Us Your Bill’ service allows customers to post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH in order to receive a free call back to be guided through the comparison process. Alternatively, consumers can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details. uSwitch’s address is The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG Plc (LSE:ZPG), owner of some of the UK’s most trusted home-related digital platforms including Hometrack, PrimeLocation, Property Software Group and Zoopla.