Whiplash claims have been blamed for adding as much as £93 to every insurance premium in Britain, according to stats from car insurer Aviva.
The average insurance premium in the country currently sits at around £372, and it’s estimated that claims for whiplash cost British motorists a combined total of £2.5 billion each year.
According to Aviva, more than 840,000 claims for whiplash were submitted for the last financial year, which equates to 2,300 separate claims each and every day, a nine per cent rise over the last year.
Whiplash claims on the rise
Previous research has also shown that six per cent of British drivers said that they would consider making claims for personal injuries like whiplash, even if they weren’t actually harmed at all.
In total, eight out of every 10 personal injury claims involving car collisions include whiplash, which is significantly higher than the amount of whiplash claims in other European countries.
In France, just three per cent of motor injury claims are for whiplash, compared to 80 per cent in the UK. On average, French car insurance premiums are 40 per cent lower than UK premiums.
Aviva states that this could be as a result of “huge financial incentives for the third parties who submit the claims”, in other words drivers exaggerating claims to get a larger payout.
Figures also show that 96 per cent of personal injury claims are made by third parties like personal injury lawyers or claims management companies acting on drivers’ behalf.
“Huge financial incentives”
Maurice Tulloch, Aviva UK and Ireland’s CEO, said: “We must address how to best treat the excessive number of fraudulent, exaggerated and minor whiplash claims which are driving up the cost of insurance.
“Sadly, we are now witnessing a resurgence in the number and cost of whiplash and soft-tissue injury claims despite some very positive developments, such as the LASPO Act, which helped reduce customer premiums.”
The LASPO Act, otherwise known as the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, came into force in April 2013 and aimed to put a cap on personal injury claims.
Alongside this, the government introduced new measures to crack down on insurance fraud last year, dropping the average cost of insurance last year to £360.
Despite this, premiums rose in the last three months of last year and are continuing to sit at an average of £372, thanks to an increase in low-value claims like whiplash trickling through.
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