The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has stuck the boot into the personal injury sector once more by submitting findings that label the UK “Europe’s Whiplash Capital” to the Transport Select Committee’s recently closed whiplash inquiry.
Last week, The Law Society voiced their concerns that the personal injury sector were unrepresented in the inquiry and with the ABI submitting such evidence without answer, it is easy to understand why.
According to the findings, eight in ten road traffic accident personal injury claims are now allegedly ‘whiplash’, which is more than twice the amount of countries that surround us.
The ABI also maintained that whiplash claims now cost over £2.2bn a year which is the reason for an extra £90 being added to the average annual motor insurance premium.
But representatives of the personal injury sector would argue that this is only one side of the story and goes along way to suggesting that whiplash is not a real injury, when in fact it is and is often caused by the effects of a car accident.
James Dalton, head of motor and liability at the ABI said: “Insurers remain fully committed to ensuring access to justice for genuine claimants. But the harsh realist is the UK remains the ‘whiplash capital of Europe’, with our ‘have a go’ compensation culture making whiplash the fraud of choice for many. With an annual whiplash bill of £2bn adding an extra £90 a year to the average motor premium tough action is needed to tackle this problem.”
But this is the reason why it was felt that there should be stronger voice for the personal injury sector as even though the figures show a high number of whiplash claims being made, it does not say anywhere in the research that they are fraudulent and are certainly not a basis for the government to make wholesale changes that strip the genuine sufferer of a whiplash injury of the right and ability to claim.
Dalton went on to underline the ABI‘s proposals to tackle the alleged ‘whiplash epidemic’ including support for the increasing of the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000, which would see thousands of genuine claimants have their right to claim compensation removed because of the few who abuse the system.
1. The Brownsword Group; http://www.brownsword.com/latest-figures-on-fraud-from-the-abi/