LV= research also reveals lengths claims management companies (CMCs) have gone in order to persuade drivers to claim

Car accident whiplash

UK has been named as the whiplash capital of the world, according to a survey by LV=.

The insurer said that analysis of a private study, conducted in the United States, and compared with UK data by LV=’s experts, confirms that UK is effectively the ‘World Capital for Whiplash’.

Currently, around two-thirds (65%) of injury claims in America are estimated to be made up of whiplash - less than the near eight in 10 level (78%) seen in the UK.

LV= Insurance general insurance claims director Martin Milliner said that despite government reforms the insurer was already seeing a rise in rehabilitation fraud.

Milliner is calling on the swift implementation of the Autumn Statement reforms announced by Chancellor George Osborne in October.

He added: ”The more time it takes to implement changes, the easier it makes it for fraudsters to find another loophole, hitting the pocket of the honest consumer.

“Government makes one change to the system and the fraudsters find a way around it - meaning further action is needed and fraud persists.

“‘Whiplash Capital of the World’ is an unfortunate moniker and not one we should be proud of.

“For years it’s been a game of cat and mouse between the insurance industry and fraudsters - when what we need is a multi-pronged solution that will benefit the consumer once and for all.”

CMC tactics

The investigation also looked at the lengths that claims management companies (CMCs) went in order to persuade drivers to claim.

Focussing on drivers who have had an accident within the last two years, the research found that the average driver receives five calls or texts following a crash, with most told that there is ‘money waiting for them’. Many also felt pressured into pressing ahead with a claim.

One in eight (12%) were contacted before they reported their accident to their insurer, suggesting that the trade in accident victims’ data swings into action within minutes of an incident occurring, LV= added.

LV=’s research also found that the majority of UK drivers involved in a collision (52%) received a call or text telling them to file for compensation with nearly half (44%) contacted within 24 hours of the accident.

In most cases (57%), the person receiving the call had no idea how their details had been sourced and where drivers attended A&E, two thirds (67%) were approached by someone who said they should make a compensation claim.