Are Accident Victims taking the hit for Dishonest Insurers?
Insurers handing out expensive quotes to drivers and then blaming the price on an increase in whiplash claims may soon come under fire, as recent figures suggest the number of whiplash cases has actually dropped – along with the average premium.
Accident victims who rightfully seek justice for their injuries have often been painted in the same light as compensation-fraudsters, by insurers, the media and ultimately – other drivers. It has been put forward that the tainted view of claimants emerged because naturally, drivers needed an explanation for their inflated premiums.
Now, it is important to note that whiplash fraud does exist and undoubtedly affects the average quote. However, for an insurer to come out and say the average cost for cover is £1000 (July 2012) and then two months later it is revealed by a comparison site that the average is in fact less than half of that, unsurprisingly raises suspicion.
In September, MoneySupermarket.com disclosed that over the last 12 months, the average quote was £478 (based on over 16million submissions to the site). So, the ‘whiplash epidemic’ certain insurers and newspapers have been quick to focus on this year, has conveniently masked the possibility that the cost of road protection should be nowhere near as high as it is.
An increase in ‘dubious’ whiplash claims was singled out as the reason behind expensive insurance in July. However, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) released statistics in September, showing a decrease of 24,000 whiplash cases over the past year. On top of that, the APIL revealed that almost two-fifths of whiplash victims have never actually pursued a car accident claim.
Caught in the collision…
It was also underlined that 20% of sufferers endured symptoms for over a year following the car accident. It is this type of more serious injury that has long-been eclipsed by the focus on a ‘compensation culture’ in Britain – which could now be argued as a world away from its ‘epidemic’ status battered about in the 2012 press.
John Spencer represents Spencers Solicitors, one of Britain’s leading personal injury law firms, and his take on the issue is fully centred on those who sustain an injury and deserve justice. He agrees with insurers that the legal system is susceptible to fraud, which can directly contribute to an increase in premiums but he adamantly wants to remind everyone that whiplash caused injury can be serious and it is certainly not a myth.
The potentially long-term impact of the injury is enough to give anybody involved in a crash, the right to at least enquire about their entitlement to whiplash injury compensation. When doing so, the best thing to do is speak to a professional firm like Spencers Solicitors as soon as possible, before the insurance company of the guilty party gets in touch to quickly arrange what is often an under-settlement.