Majority deplore whiplash fraud

Brits believe that falsifying injuries on a motor insurance claim is worse than purchasing stolen goods and as unacceptable as drink-driving according to new research by Aviva.

The study shows that 87% believe it is unacceptable to make a false whiplash claim, compared to 88% who said the same about drink-driving. This compares to the four-in-five (79%) who don’t agree with purchasing stolen goods.

The research explores Brits’ attitudes to, and behaviours around, a variety of situations and their perceived consequences, in order to better understand why the compensation culture around whiplash is so prevalent in the UK. Although, when it comes to spurious insurance claims, the vast majority of people believe falsifying injuries is unacceptable – still five per cent think it is fine and eight per cent are indifferent towards it.

The findings correlate with Aviva’s data that shows 11% of the personal injury claims it handles each year are tainted by fraud.

Rob Townend, claims director, Aviva UK general insurance, said, ‘It’s great to see that false whiplash claims are completely unacceptable for the vast majority of Brits, however there’s no such thing as victimless crime and it just takes a few bad apples to spoil it for the rest of us. The temptation of financial or personal gain often causes people to wrestle with decisions, while others turn a blind eye entirely – especially when the immediate impact of their actions is not apparent.

‘Thankfully the Government is set to put an end to the whiplash gravy train and Aviva will pass 100% of the savings to our customers. For the honest majority this will mean reduced premiums and a refocus on getting legitimate claimants back on their feet with care not cash.’

According to Aviva, whiplash costs motorists £2.5bn a year and adds £93 to the average motor insurance premium. Aviva currently has around 14,000 suspect whiplash claims under investigation.