It would be nice to think of motoring as a luxury, but unfortunately in this day and age it’s more of an essential requirement to getting out and about, as we all can’t live in places with good public transport links, now can we?
Modern society sees a great number of us having to rely upon our cars in order to get us to and from work and enable us to run those essential errands that we otherwise couldn’t be able to do easily. However, this has become much harder to afford as it has in the past, due to car insurance companies raising their rates so high that some experts predict a million Brits will be priced right off the road by 2016.
So what’s behind the massive rate increases? Insurers will say that it’s the so-called ‘compensation culture,’ a phenomenon where law firms and claims management companies entice consumers to make spurious accident claims, running up costs for insurance companies, yet up until a recent government ban barring the practice, insurers used to actually sell on the personal details of customers who might be interested in making claims to these same law firms and CMCs. Whoops.
Other reasons given include rampant organised fraud from criminal gangs that know how to milk the system for a much cash as they possibly can. Whiplash claims in particular are a source of income for the nation’s disreputable fraudsters, especially as the thresholds for bringing a whiplash claim are currently so low.
The government has been struggling for quite some time to get a handle on the situation, meeting with representatives from the motor car insurance industry and going over way to minimise the impact of fraud and spurious claims. One of the plans that may be implemented includes the creation of an independent medical panel to review whiplash claims using a much higher threshold.
The Association of British Insurers says that whiplash-related claims end up increasing car insurance rates for the average driver by 20 per cent, and this figure will only creep upward if something isn’t done about it. It’s not that people are getting into more car crashes than they have before – the number of car accidents has gone down in recent years, yet whiplash claims keep going up.