Even though it’s barely been a week since the Government pledged to take steps to clamp down on fraudulent whiplash-related insurance claims, one management firm that handles claims for clients involved in accidents is still offering advice to callers to make bogus claims.
A recent investigation into the company, which involved a reporter posing as a driver that was struck by another vehicle, uncovered evidence that implicated one of the firm’s salespeople in telling the ‘motorist’ to submit a claim – even though the driver had explicitly informed her that he had not experienced any pain in the accident.
A reporter for the Mail on Sunday contacted Keighley, West Yorkshire-based firm Legend Claims, where an employee referring to herself as Shaz essentially told him to submit a bogus injury claim just one day after a Government summit was held with representatives from car insurance companies to stamp out falsified claims of whiplash-related injuries. The summit, which was chaired by Justine Geening, Transport Secretary, sought to put an end to the £2 billion annual costs incurred by the insurance industry from paying out on bogus claims, especially since the end result has been around a £90 car insurance rate hike on average for honest motorists.
Whiplash claims have rocketed by 70 per cent from 2005 to 2010, official figures say, even in the face of a 23 per cent decline in the number of road traffic accidents. Legend Claims, a claims management firm which makes its money by acting as a middleman between motorists with motor accident claims and personal injury firms, was approached by the Mail on Sunday after reporters received tip-offs claiming that the firm had been handling a high volume of suspicious whiplash-related claims.