There have been a number of articles in the news recently discussing how fake whiplash claims are increasing the average cost of each motorist’s car insurance policy by around one hundred pounds per year. Seeing as most people now rely on cheap car insurance quotes in order to help reduce the overall costs of running their vehicles, false whiplash claims are now being targeted by the government in order to save members of the public money and crack down on fraudsters.
The Commons Transport Committee have decided to investigate suggestions that the increase in whiplash claims in the UK has now made it the “whiplash capital of the world”, and will also try to curb the 60% increase in road-related injury claims since 2006. So far the committee has already held two inquiries which have looked at how the increase in whiplash claims has affected car insurance policies and prices, and now they want to know more about those that claim for personal injury after an accident.
The Association of British Insurers have also called for changes in the ways whiplash claims are assessed, with the body’s assistant director of motor and liability James Dalton saying: “Insurers want to make it simpler and quicker for genuine whiplash claimants to get fair compensation. But whiplash is notoriously difficult to diagnose, which means that for too many people it has become the fraud of choice.” Generally doctors find it difficult to prove or disprove whether a patient has whiplash, which is why there have been calls for medical staff to be trained in the latest diagnostic techniques and take into consideration the circumstances of the collision rather than just the claimant’s version of events.
Furthermore, Roads Minister Stephen Hammond has said that the government wants to reduce the amount of whiplash claims made each year by banning referral fees and reforming no win no fee rules. “In addition, we are considering several options to ensure that newly qualified drivers are properly prepared and drive safely, allowing insurers to reduce premiums for this age group,” Mr Hammond said, “We continue to work with young people, the insurance industry, and other key partners in addressing this important issue.”