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UK named as the world's whiplash capital
Four in five injury claims in the UK are for whiplash injuries
Move over USA, apparently Britain is after one of your crowns. Unfortunately, it's not one to shout about too much.
That's because, according to insurer LV, the UK now has the title of the world capital for whiplash injury claims.
According to the motor insurance provider, almost four in five of all minor injury compensation claims made in the UK are for whiplash – that compares to 65 per cent in the US.
LV said it has reviewed data from a US private study in relation to UK figures provided by the ABI to reach its conclusion.
It found that 78 per cent of all UK minor injury claims were made by people looking for whiplash-related compensation following a car shunt – a percentage that's greater than the United States, which is synonymous with high claim rates.
But it's not solely motorists the insurer points the finger at.
Focussing only on drivers who had an accident in the last two years, LV’s investigation gave a damning report on the lengths that claims management companies go to in order to persuade drivers to seek compensation.
According to its study, the average driver receives five calls or texts following a crash, with most told that there is ‘money waiting for them'.
Some even said CMC's pressure tactics and quick-reaction strategies encouraged them to make claims.
And one in eight said they were contacted before they reported the accident to their insurer, suggesting that the trade in accident victims’ data swings into action within minutes of an incident occurring.
LV’s research found that half of UK drivers involved in a collision received a call or text telling them to file for compensation – 44 per cent of these motorists were contacted within 24 hours of the crash.
Even more concerning was that 57 per cent of people receiving calls from claims management firms had no idea how their details had been sourced.
According to Government estimations, fraudulent whiplash injury claims cost UK insurers £2bn a year.
However, a new crackdown announced in the Autumn Statement, abolishing the right to cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries, should save motorists around £50 each on their insurance premiums, according to Chancellor George Osborne.
LV said it now wants the Government to act quickly and comprehensively on implementing new recommendations made by the Insurance Fraud Taskforce because fraudsters are already finding ways around the fresh rulings.
Martin Milliner, claims director at LV insurance, said: 'For years it’s been a game of cat and mouse between the insurance industry and fraudsters – when what we need is a multi-pronged solution that will benefit the consumer once and for all.
'Government makes one change to the system and the fraudsters find a way around it – meaning further action is needed and fraud persists.
'Already we are noticing a rise in rehabilitation fraud, highlighting the need for swift implementation of the Autumn Statement reforms.
'The more time it takes to implement changes, the easier it makes it for fraudsters to find another loophole, hitting the pocket of the honest consumer.
'We would like to see a quick and comprehensive response from Government to implement all the Insurance Fraud Taskforce’s recommendations.
'LV has already confirmed it would pass on all savings from the Autumn Statement whiplash crackdown to consumers – we now need these further recommendations to be implemented urgently so customers can further benefit sooner rather than later.'
Drivers in Liverpool are the most likely to make a personal injury claim following a road accident, research has found previously.
A massive 55 per cent of Merseyside motorists involved in a shunt filed for compensation in the last year, according to stats released by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries last month.
While Liverpudlians are the most likely to make claims after being in a car accident, it wasn't the only North West city with a high claim rate – something the IFoA linked to the number of claims management companies in the region.
It's the second successive year that Liverpool has topped the most-likely-to-claim list, though it's not alone, being joined at the top by five other cities in the same area – Oldham, Manchester, Bolton, Wigan and Blackburn.