29th January 2016
The UK is the whiplash capital of the world thanks to claims companies that are chasing up the cost of car insurance for all motorists.
The latest findings from LV= Motor Insurance has found the UK outpaces the USA when it comes to the number of whiplash claims that are made.
Analysis of data from the UK and US show two-thirds of injury claims in the US are estimated to be made up of whiplash, far less than the almost eight in 10 claims in the UK.
The increased number of claims is being driven by claims management companies (CMCs), which go to great lengths to get motorists to make a whiplash claim.
The average driver receives five calls or texts following a crash, with most told that there is ‘money waiting for them’ and a number of people said they felt pressured into making a claim.
One in eight said they were contacted before they reported their accident to their insurer, suggesting that the trade in accident victims’ data swings into action within minutes of incidents occurring.
The government said in the Autumn Statement in December that it would clamp down on minor whiplash claims that would hopefully lead to reduced premiums for honest customers.
LV= is now calling on the government to act quickly and implement the recommendations of the Insurance Fraud Taskforce which has published a 14-point plan including greater data sharing between insurers to prevent fraud and for insurers to take a more aggressive stance with potential fraudsters.
Martin Milliner, GI claims director at LV= insurance, said: ‘Whiplash capital of the world is an unfortunately moniker and not one we should be proud of. And it’s UK motorists who are suffering by paying some of the highest prices for insurance in Europe – with motorists in some regions, such as in the North West, bearing the burden of fraud more than others.
‘For years it’s been a game of cat and mouse between the insurance industry and fraudsters – when what we need is a multi-pronged solution that will benefit the consumer once and for all.’
He said the government makes a change to the system ‘and the fraudsters find a way round it – meaning further action is needed and the fraud persists’.
‘Already we are noticing a rise in rehabilitation fraud, highlighting the need for swift implementation of the Autumn Statement reforms,’ said Milliner.
‘The more time it takes to implement changes, the easier it makes it for fraudsters to find another loophole, hitting the pocket of the honest consumer.’