A report released by one of the UK’s leading motoring organisations suggests that claims from whiplash injuries are costing the motor insurance industry £2 billion a year and puts £90 extra onto the cost of an average van insurance premium.
The AA, who published the report, are now urging the Government to take firm action on the crisis which is affecting cost of motor insurance, and say reform is now long overdue. In the last two years quotes for commercial vehicle insurance have gone up by 50% and the AA put the increase down to the amount of personal injury claims emanating from road traffic accidents. A recent meeting between insurers, Government ministers and road safety experts committed resources to weeding out dubious and fraudulent claims but nothing has transpired just yet.
Simon Douglas, speaking on behalf of the AA, said “We need a tight time scale applied to reform of civil litigation which at present, encourages people to make a claim regardless of how serious their injury is or even if they have not suffered injury at all. Importantly, we need reforms that clamp down on cold-call claims management and personal injury firms who have contributed to the growth of claims. The present dysfunctional system has also spawned the fraudulent multi-million-pound ‘cash for crash’ industry.”
There is no doubt that members of the legal profession, professional accident management companies and even insurance companies have realised the cash potential in personal injury claims but the AA say it is now time to put an end to the claim culture. They are calling for a medical panel to replace examinations by GPs and raising the limit from £1000 to £5,000 for personal injury claims. They also call for tougher action to be taken against people caught making fraudulent claims. The fact is that the rising cost of motor insurance is coming at a time when road traffic accident rates have been cut dramatically which in itself indicates that something is wrong with the system.