More than half whiplash car crash claims fraudulent, experts claim

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 13:17
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FAKE: More than half whiplash claims fraudulent?

Up to 60% of all whiplash car crash claims are fraudulent, insurance experts have told Transport Select Committee MPs.

David Powell, of the Lloyd’s Insurance Market Association, and David Brown, of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, told the Commons that easy-to-fake whiplash symptoms have caused around half of successful claims to be bogus.

Mr Powell said a 50% false claims figure was realistic, and more sufficient medical and legal tests were needed to combat the problem.

“It is so easy to fake, it is so easy to exaggerate,” he said.

“There is a claims manufacturing industry which has developed over the last ten to 15 years; it has gone into overdrive.

“If you have a more stringent test, you will get more of the fraudulent claims challenged and more fraudsters put off.”

On average, whiplash is compensated at £2,500 a time, with around 550,000 claims successful every year in the UK.

If half of all claims were fraudulent, the scam would total £1billion-a-year.

Insurance experts already believe whiplash claims boosted by no-win, no-fee claims firms add £90 to the average car insurance policy.

Mr Brown claimed between 10% and 60% of whiplash claims were exaggerated or fraudulent, adding the true figure was likely nearer the higher threshold.

He added that claims had soared despite a fall in accidents because of the ease of claiming in financially tough times.

Image courtesy of Ryan Weisgerber, with thanks.

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