In a recent report from the AA it has been claimed that whiplash injury compensation claims have led to the steepest ever annual increase in insurance premiums. They claim that whiplash injury claims cost insurers more than £2 billion last year which has led to an average increase of £90 for each individual insurance policy.
With the number of accidents on the UK roads going down and the number of whiplash compensation claims on the rapid increase, it’s understandable that questions are being asked about the current system.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, called for the government to conduct a comprehensive review of a system which, he claims, ‘encourages people to make a claim regardless of how serious their injury is or even if they have not suffered injury at all.’
Whiplash Injury Claim Climate
There are many different factors which have led to the current climate of whiplash injury claims. The current system of referral fees between car insurance companies and claims companies has meant that many people who may not otherwise have made a claim are often convinced to do so. In addition, when claims do get made, it is often considered to be cheaper for insurance companies to settle out of court than fight a claim – even if it’s illegitimate.
The government have shown a strong commitment to resolve these issues and have already taken steps towards finding a solution. One of the suggestions is to introduce independent medical panels who would take an objective look at claims before they went to court. If these medical panels were given the authority to throw out dubious claims, this would certainly discourage may people from making these illegitimate whiplash claims.
Though the proposed reforms have been met with widespread support, many claims companies and car insurance companies have been quick to point out that these reforms, and the rhetoric which surrounds them, should not diminish the serious nature of legitimate whiplash claims.