Accident claim figures rocket, yet accident figures plummet

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 3 JULY 2013:

I can only assume, based on the biggest news stories this week, that car insurance policy holders are indeed their own worst enemies!

I swear it’s absolutely unbelievable: the number of whiplash claims being made are growing at breakneck speed (pun intended). The Faculty of Actuaries recently announced that their figures indicate massive growth when it comes to these types of accident claim brought against the nation’s car insurance companies, and in fact cost insurers in excess of £1 billion on an annual basis.

This is absolutely mad if you ask me, especially considering that the average insurance policy holder is the one that ends up footing the bill for these incredibly expensive car insurance claims. Insurers pass on their legal costs in the form of heightened premium pricing, making it increasingly harder if not impossible to find cheap car insurance from any provider and the worst part is that fraud is a huge problem when it comes to whiplash claims in particular.

If this bit of news wasn’t absolutely astounding enough, I learned something absolutely shocking this week: UK roads are getting safer all the time. In fact, the Department for Transport said last week that road death figures were at their lowest point ever – and I mean ever.

Not since 1926 have their been fewer road deaths recorded in a given year than there were in 2012, where only 1,754 people lost their lives in a road traffic accident of some sort. While this figure is certainly tragic on the face of it, the fact that the fewest number of people died last year than in the nearly one hundred year history of vehicular death is mind-blowing in the extreme.

So how do we reconcile the fact that roads in the UK are literally safer than they have ever been, yet the number of whiplash claims made have grown to epidemic proportions? Sure, you could argue that vehicles have grown safer, effectively turning what would have been a serious or even fatal injury into a more minor one, but the other side of the coin is that people are growing more litigious for some reason.

In all honesty my money is on the latter and not the former, especially since the worldwide economic downturn has left its mark on so many people both in the UK and abroad. Times are tough, jobs are scarce, and the cost of living keeps going up with no sign of it stopping, so people are looking to make a quick buck wherever and whenever they can, aren’t they?

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