As motor car insurance costs continue to rise as a result of fraudulent claims, the UK has recently been given the dubious honour of being the whiplash capital of the entire Euro zone.
In response to runaway claims, car insurance companies have begun to call for a clampdown on fraudulent claims. These such claims result in the car insurance rates of honest drivers going up significantly.
Cheap car insurance providers remark that people who file fraudulent whiplash injuries because they want some easy money are driving costs up by a significant margin. Official figures state that premium costs have risen by 40 per cent in the past 12 months alone.
Industry body ABI commented that claims management firms and ambulance chasing personal injury law firms were ratcheting up the number of claims. An additional behaviour cited as being responsible was the increase in the number of deliberately staged ‘crash for cash’ accidents, the ABI added.
However in recent months insurers themselves have come under criticism. This is because these ambulance chasing firms are being fed accident claim referrals from many insurers for cash.
To that end the Commons Transport Select committee remarked that more than 40 per cent of injury lawyers pay some sort of referral fee to receive work from claims management firms or insurers. These referral fees can range from as little as £200 per referral to as much as £1,000 each.
The ABI made estimations that whiplash claims costs can add approximately 20 per cent to motor insurance premiums – a figure that averages out to about £74 per yearly premium. The approximate number of whiplash claims made in any given day in the UK is 1,200. The number of work-related injury claims in the UK is about six times less that figure.