Brits believe that whiplash fraud is as bad as drink-driving, says Aviva

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Brits believe that falsifying injuries on a motor insurance claim is as unacceptable as drink-driving according to new research published by Aviva.

The study shows that 87% say it’s unacceptable to make a false whiplash claim, compared to 88% who say the same about drink-driving.

Although the vast majority of people believe falsifying injuries to make spurious claims is unacceptable, Aviva has discovered that 5% think it is fine and 8% are indifferent towards it. The findings correlate with Aviva’s data which shows that 11% of the personal injury claims it handles each year are tainted by fraud.

Rob Townend, claims director at 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.

It says that it recently successfully challenged a £250,000 insurance claim by 46 passengers on a an apparent party bus. All 46 passengers filed whiplash claims as a result of a low-speed incident causing only £70 worth of damage to the vehicle.

“Britain is generally a nation of considerate citizens who do the right thing. But it’s clear a minority are lured by the incentive of ‘easy cash’ that exists within the motor claims compensation culture. In the end, we all pay for this through inflated premiums, not to mention the wider cost to society of this unhealthy whiplash claims culture,” added Townend.

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Marek Handzel

Marek Handzel is the editor of Claims Magazine. Marek welcomes articles, letters, or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing marek.handzel@barkerbrooks.co.uk