Aviva to combat whiplash surge
Aviva has drafted a six point plan to dramatically reduce the number of false whiplash claims including an end to cash payouts for whiplash injuries.
Figures from Aviva show last year drivers and car passengers claiming soared from 764,400 to 840,000 – the equivalent of 2,300 whiplash incidents a day. This is costing Britain £2.5 billion in whiplash injuries alone with claims rocketing by nine per cent in a year.
A study be Aviva also revealed the rising number of claims handled by third party firms is adding an extra £93 to the cost of car insurance, leaving innocent drivers facing an average renewal bill of £372.
Britain has the highest number of whiplash claims in Europe with 80% of those hurt in a car accident citing the injury as a reason to fight for compensation. It also found 96% of personal injury claims were pursued by so-called ‘ambulance chasers’ including claims management companies and personal injury lawyers.
In its six point plan, Aviva wants insurance firms to offer medical help and it wants the time limit to make a claim slashed from three years to 12 months. It is also calling for claimants to provide a full, independent medical report if symptoms last longer than three months. Aviva’s UK chief executive Maurice Tulloch said, ‘Sadly, we are now witnessing a resurgence in the number and cost of whiplash and soft-tissue injury claims.
‘Our customers have told us they are fed up with compensation culture and all its trimmings – the nuisance texts and calls from claims management companies, excessive lawyers’ fees and fraudsters abusing the system for their own financial gain. It doesn’t have to be like this.
‘We must address how to best treat the excessive number of fraudulent, exaggerated and minor whiplash claims which are driving up the cost of insurance.’