Motor insurers have demanded a crackdown on bogus claims for whiplash injuries. It follows the publication of a series of statistics that bring into question the legitimacy of many claims.
According to the Association of British Insurers, one in every 140 people claims for a whiplash injury each year. That's 1,200 a day, a rate six time higher than that of people suffering injuries while at work.
The ABI also noted that three-quarters of personal injury claims now involve whiplash, leading it to dub the UK "the whiplash capital of Europe." The association believes there are two main factors contributing to the high number of suspected bogus claims. One is that the resulting conditions are hard to diagnose and the symptoms relatively easy to exaggerate. The other is the growing involvement of claims management firms.
In response, the ABI is calling for a comprehensive package of reforms, taking in increased education about keeping safe braking distances (to cut down the type of crashes that cause whiplash), speedier payouts for genuine claimants, and guidance from doctors on more consistent diagnosis of legitimate whiplash injuries.