DWP figures show rates as high as 22 per 1000

Car accident whiplash

Liverpool is the whiplash capital of Britain with one in every 50 residents making compensation claims, according to new government research.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show large regional variations in case rates with rates as low as 5,500 per year in Luton and up to 18,500 in Liverpool.

Whiplash claims cost insurers £2bn a year, with bogus payouts adding £90 to the typical car insurance premium.

In the 12 months to March, the number of cases in Liverpool was 22 per thousand residents show figures in the Mail. Uxbridge in West London and Oldham were close behind with 21 and 20 per thousand.

Those figures are twice the national average of nine per thousand and 20 times the level seen in some areas.

The lowest rates were in Scotland, where there are strict controls on referral fees paid to garages and insurance brokers in such cases.

 Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers, said: ‘This is the first time there has been a regional breakdown of where whiplash claims are being made. And there appears to be a striking correlation between whiplash victims and the number of lawyers specialising in personal injuries claims.”

“Whiplash claims have gone up by a third in the past three years while the number of accidents has gone down. Either we have developed the weakest necks in Europe or drivers are regarding whiplash injury claims as easy money waiting to be collected,” Tarling added.