Taskforce sets out measures to clamp down on insurance fraud and whiplash claims
In its final report, the Insurance Fraud Taskforce outlines 14 measures to target fraud and said that for whiplash claims, a more robust approach to definding claims is needed as well as the possibility of legal changes to reduce exaggerated or fraudulent late claims.
According to Government figures, whiplash claims cost the UK £2bn a year, an average of £90 per motor insurance policy. The IFT report added that the rise in the compensation culture in the UK has led to a significant increase in the number of PI claims in particular for minor whiplash despite rates of road traffic accidents falling.
The report said there is much more work to be done on making the process for dealing with these claims more robust, including improvements to the medical evidence process.
It added that in France there is a firm emphasis on objective proof. With regards to whiplash, this means that injury is not recognised unless the medical professional is able to see evidence of injury, such as on an MRI scan or X-Ray. As of 2014, whiplash injuries account for c.3% of all bodily injury claims and the cost of motor and liability insurance premiums is c.40% less than the UK.
In November’s Autumn Statement, the Government announced plans to reform compensation for minor whiplash injuries, with the aim of reducing bills for consumers.
Other general measures suggested in the IFT report to cutdown on insurance fraud include encourage greater use of data sharing and collaboration between the insurance sector and regulatory bodies to better prevent organised fraud.
In response, Justice Minister Lord Faulks said: “Fraudulent and exaggerated claims force up the costs of insurance premiums for everyone and we must take steps to tackle this.”