The broker wants the group to introduce new measures such as increased rehabilitation and limits on when a claim for whiplash can be made to fight back against fraud

AA van

The AA has welcomed the formation of an insurance fraud taskforce, and called for the group to introduce new measures to tackle the problem of spurious whiplash claims.

AA head of counter fraud intelligence Stephen Gaywood said action from the taskforce could help bring down costs and keep motor premiums low.

“Provided it has teeth and their recommendations can be translated into legislation then fewer claims should result, which in turn will reduce the upward pressure on car insurance premiums,” he said.

Gaywood also warned that the claims management industry was currently out of control and  called on the taskforce to introduce new measures to tackle whiplash fraud such as increased rehabilitation and limits on when a claim for whiplash can be made.

“Claims management is out of control,” he said. “There are around 1,300 whiplash injury claims made every day and they continue to rise, despite the falling number of collisions on Britain’s roads.  Tough action is needed to stop this epidemic.

“For example, settlement of claims should largely focus on the provision of medical treatment such as chiropractic or physiotherapy – not cash.  That alone would eliminate a high proportion of claimants where they are simply looking for a cash award, but would not discourage genuine victims.”

“In some countries such as France and Germany a whiplash injury claim following a low-speed collision is prohibited.  Why can’t that measure be applied in the UK?,” he said.  “In addition, claims should be made within a strict time limit.  Genuine injury claims are usually made immediately, certainly within days.  But it’s telling that on average, injury claims are made 124 days after a collision and a third up to 260 days after the event for very minor injuries.  This seems to underline the part that claims firms are playing in encouraging ‘no-win, no-fee’ claims.”