And some genuine accident victims are being contacted on a daily basis to be encouraged to make a claim
Research from LV= has revealed that more than half of the people in the UK have been targeted by claims management companies (CMCs) to make a claim.
This is despite the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (Laspo) reforms that were introduced in April to combat this problem.
LV= found that 54% of Brits have been contacted by a CMC since the reforms came in, with 38% receiving telephone calls encouraging them to make a claim. In addition to this, 23% of people have received a text message from a CMC and 7% a letter.
LV= claims director Martin Milliner said: “The Laspo Act was intended to curb the heavy-handed tactics of the claims management industry by making it less lucrative to ‘farm’ car accident claims, but it did not go far enough.”
The insurer also found that CMCs are still aggressively targeting genuine accident victims, with many being contacted within hours of an accident. In fact, the research revealed that 4% of accident victims contacted by a CMC were approached at the roadside or while receiving medical attention at a hospital.
“Crash victims are still being aggressively targeted by those who can make money out of their details and literally hounded to make a claim within moments of an accident,” Milliner said.
LV= also revealed that many accident victims are persistently pursued in the weeks after, sometimes on a daily basis, with victims saying they are contacted seven times on average via telephone calls, text messages, emails and letters, with 32% being contacted at least once a week.
However, it is not just the practices of CMCs that LV= highlighted as a problem for the industry.
The insurer also found that 15% of those involved in a car accident since April admit they exaggerated their injury to try to get compensation and a further 4% say they made up the injury entirely to get the money.
But Milliner was hopeful that medical panels being introduced in the new year can help combat this growing problem.
“LV= welcomes the government proposals to develop new independent medical panels to review all whiplash cases. Those tempted to make a claim when they do not have an injury should think again as making a fraudulent claim could lead to a hefty fine or prison sentence,” he said.