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The insurance industry has had its sound bite generator out doing the rounds in recent weeks, with ear catching statements to quicken the pulse and stimulate debate. Top of the pops is 'The Whiplash Capital of Europe', with which our nation was recently labelled; this was subsequently quoted ad infinitum.

Following what was apparently the first ever dedicated whiplash conference, the media has once again grabbed hold of this topic as a number of stories brought stiff (or weak, depending upon your point of view) necks to prominence. The Daily Mail and Telegraph unsurprisingly took the issue very seriously with pieces informed by data from the Association of British Insurers claiming that 1 in 140 people are claiming for whiplash in the UK every year, adding significantly to our motor insurance premiums. But the Mail wasn't entirely fighting the insurers' corner, pointing out that they too have profited from personal injury claims through referral fees.

If the total figure of £2bn added to insurers' loss ratios every year through whiplash claims is to be believed then more recent news from the industry's motor insurance research centre could signal some relief.Insurance Times reported how Thatcham had said 160 000 whiplash injuries could now be prevented as new braking technology will make it possible for cars to anticipate collisions.