900m calls and texts chasing a personal injury claim or insurance issue were made in 2017, according to Ofcom data commissioned by Aviva
“Hello, my name is… I believe you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault…”
For many people, the call does not go any further than this, so the rest of the conversation remains a mystery.
Almost 2.2bn nuisance calls and texts were made to UK consumers in 2017, with 895m of those being insurance or claims related.
This is an increase of 50% on the 600m insurance and claims-related calls and texts consumers received in 2015.
The other 1.3bn calls and texts were PPI and pension-related.
According to the report, people aged 65 and over are being targeted the most, with approximately 30% of all nuisance calls being made to that age group.
As MPs are preparing to debate the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill, which proposes the creation of a single financial guidance body, Aviva is calling for a ban on these types of calls.
”Enough is enough. Nuisance calls are a national epidemic which must be stopped.” - Rob Townend, Aviva UK claims director
And consumers appear to agree, with a survey showing 85% of adults support a proposed ban on nuisance calls and texts.
57% of consumers said nuisance calls were “the most annoying thing about owning a phone”. 18% also said they were “intimidating,” and 13% said they made them feel “anxious”.
“Were you injured in an accident?”
Claims management companies (CMCs) frequently use nuisance calls to target consumers who may have been injured in a car accident. CMCs are attracted to such claims due to the large fees they receive in exchange for passing the claimant to an organisation that can help them pursue their claim.
This financial incentive is driving the aggressive calling and texting of consumers, regardless of whether they had an accident or were injured. Aviva is calling on the FCA, which will be the new claims management regulator, to introduce a cap on the fees CMCs can charge for handling injury claims.
”The Government should take decisive action”
Rob Townend, UK claims director at Aviva said: “Enough is enough. Nuisance calls are a national epidemic which must be stopped. Whether it is a call chasing an injury you may or may not have sustained in an accident, or a pension scammer attempting to con unsuspecting individuals out of their hard-earned retirement savings, there is no place in our society for them.
“Aviva is urging the Government to put a swift end to these cold calls. The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill currently before Parliament is a terrific opportunity to ban these unsolicited calls once and for all. If the Government is serious about protecting all members of our society, including the most vulnerable, then it should take decisive action and ban them.”