UK named world capital for whiplash

The UK out-paces even the USA when it comes to whiplash claims, making Britain the ‘World Capital for Whiplash’.

Analysis of a private study, conducted in the United States, and compared with UK data by LV=Motor Insurance’s experts, confirm British drivers are the biggest makers of these claims. Currently, around two-thirds (65%) of injury claims in the USA are estimated to be made up of whiplash – far less than the near eight in 10 level (78%) seen in the UK.

Focusing on drivers who have had an accident within the last two years, LV=’s investigation reveals the lengths that claims management companies (CMCs) go to in order to persuade drivers to claim. The research found that the average driver receives five calls or texts following a crash, with most told that there is ‘money waiting for them’. Many also felt pressured into progressing a claim. While one in eight (12%) were even contacted before they reported their accident to their insurer, suggesting that the trade in accident victims’ data swings into action within minutes of an incident occurring.

The Government announced in the Autumn Statement that it would crack down on minor whiplash claims – ultimately leading to reduced premiums for honest consumers. LV= is now calling on Government to act both quickly and comprehensively on implementing the new recommendations of the Insurance Fraud Taskforce, which published its 14-point plan last Monday (18 January 2016).

Martin Milliner, GI claims director of LV= insurance, said, ‘’Whiplash Capital of the World’ is an unfortunate 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. 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.

‘Government makes one change to the system and the fraudsters find a way around it – meaning further action is needed and fraud persists. Already we are noticing a rise in rehabilitation fraud, highlighting the need for swift implementation of the Autumn Statement reforms. 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.

‘We would like to see a quick and comprehensive response from Government to implement all the Insurance Fraud Taskforce’s recommendations. LV= has already confirmed it would pass on all savings from the Autumn Statement whiplash crackdown to consumers – we now need these further recommendations to be implemented urgently so customers can further benefit sooner rather than later.’

LV=’s research found that the majority of UK drivers involved in a collision (52%) received a call or text telling them to file for compensation with nearly half (44%) contacted within 24 hours of the accident. In most cases (57%), the person receiving the call had no idea how their details had been sourced and where drivers attended A&E, two thirds (67%) were approached by someone who said they should make a compensation claim.