One of the UK’s biggest insurers has released figures that effectively confirm that LASPO hasn’t had the desired effect on reducing whiplash claims.
Figures released by Aviva show the number of whiplash claims being made has started to return to its past levels, although they are using this as propaganda to introduce further reform, which comes as a surprise to nobody.
LASPO was supposed to eradicate the issue of fraudulent claims within the industry, therefore reducing the number of whiplash claims being submitted. In truth it just acted as another part of the insurer led regime to cut costs and line their own pockets.
Why hasn’t it worked? To put it simply, fraudulent whiplash claims were clearly not as prevalent, as the insurance industry had originally suggested.
While a stigma of fraud across all types of personal injury claim will always be present, what these results should provide for the Government and the insurance industry is the realisation that whiplash is truly a genuine condition and that the time to address the real issues behind the rising number of claims has arrived.
The insurance industry have long lusted after increasing the small claims limit, not to remove fraud from the industry rather to ensure that thousands of genuine whiplash victims will not be able to afford the legal representation they need.
It’s time the Government stood up and realised that Whiplash is a real ailment and should be taken seriously. It would be far more beneficial for them to investigate ways n how to reduce negligence on the roads, rather than simply dismissing it as fraud and attempting to price genuine victims out of justice.
Aviva’s report claims that whiplash claims are costing motorists £2.5 billion a year due to rising premiums. However, past research and reports has shown that there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Indeed the private motoring insurance industry has been put under investigation in the past when they were exposed for cutting corners in repair work in order to cut costs and pocket the excess left over.
It’s not as simple as saying ‘bring in reforms to reduce the number of claims’, the Government simply has to be more proactive in order to address the real problem here, which can come down to road safety in terms of the number of injuries occurring and insurer cost cutting regimes when it comes down to rising premiums..
Previously they tried to reduce fraud by introducing the most crippling reforms the industry has ever seen and that hasn’t worked. To bring in further reform would simply be punishing genuine whiplash victims, going against everything the Government claimed to believe in when they announced plans for the original reforms.
Last month the AA predicted that over the upcoming 12 months the UK would witness a 10% increase on car insurance premiums. However, according to the AA, this would not be solely down to, as Aviva are suggesting, the increase in Whiplash claims but in fact highly attributable to the pressure of competition with the insurance industry itself.
Consequently, if claims are on the rise and insurers continue to ramp up the cost of premiums, the Government will be forced to respond with action and in the past that hasn’t worked in the legal profession’s favour.
Aviva have chosen to remarket the ‘compensation culture’ brand to push their point across, despite figures released by the National Accident Helpline last year suggesting that in fact a large number of claimants tend not to claim for their injuries when they’ve been involved in an accident, as they feel uncomfortable about the morals of claiming compensation..
It will be hoped that common sense will prevail over this and the Government this time and that they will resist the temptation to, once again, submit to the insurance industry’s demands for further reforms.