Whiplash is one of the most controversial subjects when it comes to car insurance claims, as it is very difficult to determine whether someone is telling the truth or just trying to get money from insurers. The fact that whiplash claims are so difficult to disprove means that car insurance providers have to charge their customers extra in order to protect them against whiplash claims and subsequent pay outs which can sometimes be extremely expensive.
And now today the car insurance provider Aviva said that if the whiplash claims system was changed then drivers could save on average sixty pounds a year. They have suggested that the system should be changed so that the middlemen are cut out thus reducing the cost of the claims. However some legal groups have said that the change could leave victims vulnerable, with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers saying: “Putting the injured person entirely in the hands of the guilty party’s insurer would create a profound conflict of interest. Independent advice is key to preventing such a conflict and ensuring a fair outcome for the injured person.”
However Aviva has said that eighty per cent of the claims they receive are for whiplash, and often come through lawyers that charge sizeable fees. Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva said: “Our primary concerns are that injured parties receive care and compensation as quickly as possible, and that all motorists benefit from a reduction in the excessive costs that have built up in claims over the past few years.”
Aviva has said that their customers could save money if those wanting to make whiplash claims went straight to the “at-fault” insurer, instead of expensive lawyers, especially as they have said there are half a million whiplash claims each year, three hundred thousand of which could be dealt with by the insurers themselves. Furthermore, costs are also increased by referral fees paid by lawyers and claims management firms to breakdown firms who provide information on accident victims.