In 2011 whiplash claims cost the UK motor insurance industry a staggering £2.2 billion according to The Association of British Insurers (ABI). But it’s not only the insurance companies who are bearing the brunt, as these claims are bringing up the price of the insurance premiums in a desperate bid to reclaim the lost money. But why do we make so many claims in comparison to other countries and what is being done to get this problem under control?
What is ‘whiplash’?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by a sudden collision, e.g. a car hitting you from behind. It has been estimated that 25 per cent of claims may be fraudulent, with people trying to get compensation for suffering a collision in their vehicle – even if they did not damage their neck in any way.
Why are there so many false claims?
It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose whether or not a person has whiplash – especially is a person is looking for compensation at any cost and therefore may be willing to claim their symptoms are worse than they actually are.
What can be done to cut down on false claims?
The government is planning to take measures to bring down the amount of false claims by devising a way for a deeper and more accurate diagnosis by doctors. And of course there’s the extra addition of an average of £90 to insurance policies.
What if I really do have whiplash?
After the extensive media coverage of fake whiplash claims, it can be worrying to think that you may not be believed if you really did get injured. It will involve an accurate diagnosis by your GP and you should take up your accident claims with a personal injury lawyer.
What does the future hold for whiplash claims?
The plan is to deter people from false claims by making diagnosis more difficult, the process more thorough and to question claims that do not add up. This will make it less straightforward for people to make a claim and hopefully put people off for fear of being caught out.
All in all, whiplash is a huge concern for the UK as there are people who have genuine injuries as a result of an accident, yet due to the number of fraudulent claims, their claims are taken less seriously. The Government is taking this issue seriously in order to minimise the amount it is costing the motoring insurance each year, which is impacting on higher premiums for drivers – many of whom have never made a claim.
If you want to know more about the Government’s plans to tighten up on whiplash, visit Gov.uk.