Helen Nugent

Whiplash claims, LISAs, buy-to-let and energy bills

Car insurance premiums for millions of motorists could fall by £40 a year following a government crackdown on fraudulent whiplash claims. Under Ministry of Justice proposals, whiplash injury payouts would be much more difficult to obtain, The Guardian reports. Insurers say the measures will end the UK’s status as the whiplash capital of the world. The proposals are intended to stamp out a ‘toxic’ compensation culture that has pushed up motor premiums, led to consumers being bombarded with nuisance text messages and calls, and put additional pressure on the NHS.

Michael Lloyd, the AA’s director of insurance, said: ‘AA members are rightly concerned about the upward pressure on the cost of running a car, not least the rising cost of insurance. That there over 800,000 small injury claims registered through the Ministry of Justice small claims track last year, of which 750,000 are estimated to be whiplash injury claims is, frankly, shocking. It’s little wonder that the UK is shamefully regarded as the whiplash capital of the world.’

LISAs

The new Lifetime Individual Savings Accounts should carry a series of warnings to consumers, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.

LISAs are due to launch in April 2017, with the promise of big bonuses for those who use the money to save for a home or retirement. The BBC reports that financial regulator believes there is a danger that some people will not fully understand them. Buy-to-let Investors in property face strict new mortgage affordability tests from next year which will spark the ‘beginning of the end of the middle-class buy-to-let dream’, The Telegraph reports. The Chancellor has announced additional rules on buy-to-let which will result in ordinary investors being able to borrow far less towards their purchase. Philip Hammond indicated he was concerned about ‘financial stability’ following a boom in residential property investment as savers attempt to find profitable places to put their money. Energy bills One in three working families have trouble paying their energy bills, The Guardian reports.

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