Analysis by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has shown that less than 1% of motor claims are fraudulent, a figure that is often distorted by the insurance industry and ‘swallowed whole’ by the government.
The national campaign group for injured people completed the research following government plans to remove compensation rights from certain whiplash claims and reduce insurance premiums due to the fear of excessive, fraudulent claims.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in road accidents and the ABI say their data shows that more than 1500 whiplash claims are made in the UK each day, allegedly costing the industry more than £2 billion a year and adding £90 to the average annual motor insurance premium.
However, APIL’s analysis of 2014 figures from the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) shows that only 0.25% of motor claims were proven to be fraudulent as a result of policyholders over-egging claims or making false declarations when applying for insurance. APIL explains that only a small number of the fraudulent claim figures will involve whiplash injuries, although exact numbers are unknown.
Jonathon Wheeler, the president of APIL explains: “No fraud can ever be justified or condoned. But the fact that there is far less of it than we have all been led to believe, and that it is still being used to justify Government proposals to abolish the right to compensation for some whiplash injuries, is an absolute scandal.”
The Government has also proposed further changes, announcing that commuters will soon be able to claim compensation if their trains are more than 15 minutes late.
Wheeler, speaking on behalf of APIL, believes the planned changes are aimed at the wrong target, continuing: “The plans are an attempt to legislate away a long-held fundamental right to compensation for genuine injury.”
He concludes: “The fact that a 15 minute delay is seen as more important than compensation for a real, bodily injury beggars belief.”