Raising small claims limit for PI not a done deal, government says

Djanogly: no decisions taken

The government has not yet decided to push ahead with controversial proposals to increase the small claims limit for personal injury (PI) claims, the Ministry of Justice has indicated.

In May, following a Whitehall whiplash summit with the motor insurance industry, it seemed as though the government’s mind was made up.

A statement then said raising the limit from £1,000 to £5,000 would make it “easier for insurers to defend spurious or exaggerated claims by ending the situation whereby it is easier and cheaper to settle claims than it is to fight them”.

At the time the then justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said: “Our proposed reforms will make it much easier for insurers to defend claims through the court system… The proposals will also mean genuine victims of whiplash with valid claims get fair compensation quickly, cheaply and easily.”

However on Monday, in answer to a written question in Parliament, the day before he left government in the reshuffle, Mr Djanogly said that a consultation “on whether to amend the small claims threshold for damages for personal injury claims” will be published shortly.

He said: “No decisions will be taken on the way forward in this area until all responses to the consultation document and other stakeholder submissions have been considered.

“Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and HM Treasury officials have been working closely together to develop the consultation proposals and accompanying impact assessments. The latter will consider the effect of the proposals on all impacted groups, including law firms and claimants.

“The government welcomes contributions and evidence from all stakeholders on the potential impacts of these proposals on all affected groups.”