The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has accused the Government of swallowing distorted figures on fraud in motor insurance claims which are being used as a “smokescreen” to remove the right to compensation for some whiplash claims.
The organisation says that a “proper” analysis of figures on fraud compiled by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that only 0.25 per cent of motor claims are actually proven to be fraudulent.
“We have discovered motor insurance fraud is actually a fraction of the level so often touted by the insurance industry,” said Jonathan Wheeler, the president of APIL.
“No fraud can ever be justified or condoned. But the fact that there is far less of it than we have all been led to believe, and that it is still being used to justify Government proposals to abolish the right to compensation for some whiplash injuries, is an absolute scandal. The Government has obviously fallen for the insurance industry’s smokescreen.”
Wheeler said that the 0.25 per cent figure included policyholders who had exaggerated their own claims, or made false declarations when applying for insurance.
“Only a fraction of those will be whiplash claims – we don’t know how many for certain, because there are no industry figures on this. Yet the Government claims that removing the right to compensation for some whiplash claims will fight fraud and reduce car insurance premiums,” he said.
He added that it was perfectly clear to anyone who looked at the real picture that the Government’s proposal was both draconian and had no basis in evidence.
“The plans are an attempt to legislate away a long-held fundamental right to compensation for genuine injury.”