Whiplash is currently a big talking point lately and not just because of the film with the same name..
With claims back on the up, once again the insurers look set to try to blackmail the government into reform with their favoured choice of threat being thrown behind potential increases on the price of insurance premiums.
What have we learned since the Jackson Reforms and the implementation of LASPO? What we knew all along, the insurance industry is extremely greedy and will stop at nothing to ensure they can protect their profit margins, regardless of whose expense it comes at.
The facts though don’t lie. The number of whiplash claims being made has dramatically decreased since 2010 and thanks to the legal fees being cut and medical fees being fixed, thousands of pounds have been saved to give back to the premium paying consumer.
Surely enough has to be enough? It goes beyond shutting down the legal industry when once again the insurers are baying for those who really need our help to be left out in the cold again.
The genuine victims of personal injury have been attacked time and time again by the Government’s reforms, born from the proposals of the insurance industry and now it is time to end that attack and turn the focus on what the real problems are.
Aviva’s Maurice Tulloch said on whiplash: “Aviva believes that everyone is entitled to fairly priced insurance to protect what is important to them. Failing to address an escalating claims culture puts customers and business at risk and increases the cost of living for all of us.”
He is right in some elements. As mentioned earlier the claims are down since 2010 so the only ‘claims culture’ as such is a declining one and surely that is something that should be rewarded not hammered from pillar to post.
It is completely wrong to automatically put the recent spike in whiplash claims down to the legal industry for allegedly encouraging them. Other crucial factors include the competition, price wise within their own industry.
Yet the insurers are happy to sweep that aside. Why? There can only be one reason why and that is because they can see another route for them to make profit.
He is right that everyone is entitled to fairly priced insurance so that they can protect what is important to them but this is hypercritical at the very same time.
The victim of an accident caused by somebody else’s negligence are also entitled to help and support and in the instance of most accidents this is needed, yet the insurers are continuously trying to come up with ways of denying them this.
It is easy for them to roll out the fraud allegations whenever there is an increase in numbers, yet they are totally ignorant to the level of spurious activity that goes on from their side.
Take for example the recent attempt to reclassify industrial deafness as an injury and not, as is medically proven, a disease.
Ignorance is very much the fuel for the insurance companies when they campaign for reforms to the whiplash industry. In their minds the condition isn’t real and there should be no compensation for it.
Try telling that to the lad in the Daily Mirror’s report about how a teenager was left unable to read or write because of whiplash. Admittedly this was a rare instance but it just goes to show just how damaging a condition it can be at its very worse.
People buy insurance to protect themselves from harm and whiplash is exactly that. It can bring on chronic stiffness or neck pain and can leave people bed ridden for months.
If the insurers had their way people with whiplash would only be rehabilitated. What about the loss of earnings they suffer, missed bills and general all round inconvenience. Do they deserve to have to deal with that on their own because of the actions of a negligence driver?
The Government have to look at the real evidence to see why the number of claims has risen again before deciding for or against any future whiplash reforms.
What is for sure is the time has come to stop the attack against genuine accident victims and support them in their time of need. That is the very least they deserve.
For more information about this subject visit our whiplash page or if you feel you could be entitled to make a claims for whiplash call us on 0800 61 43 61 and speak to one of our specialist advisers.