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Insurance industry “smokescreen” will impact injured motorists

20th Apr 2016

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has claimed that distorted figures on fraudulent motor insurance claims have been “swallowed whole” by the government.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) states that whiplash injuries cost the industry £2bn a year, or an average of £90 for each motor insurance policy, with the motor injury claims for whiplash in the UK the being up to 80%.

However, an analysis of 2014 figures from the ABI shows that only 0.25% of motor claims are proven to be fraudulent.

APIL explained that the figures included policy-holders over-egging their own claims, or making false declarations when applying for insurance; only a fraction of those fraudulent claims will involve whiplash injuries.

Despite this, the government is expected to continue plans to remove the right to compensation for some whiplash claims in order to fight fraud and reduce car insurance premiums.

A consultation from the Ministry of Justice is expected following proposals announced in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement to raise the small claims limit for personal injury claims and scrap general damages for “minor” whiplash injuries.

Commenting on the findings, the president of APIL, Jonathan Wheeler, said that “motor insurance fraud is actually a fraction of the level so often touted by the insurance industry,” and that the government had fallen for an insurance industry “smokescreen” that will adversely affect injured motorists.

“The fact that there is far less of it than we have all been led to believe, and that it is still being used to justify government proposals to abolish the right to compensation for some whiplash injuries, is an absolute scandal,” he added, continuing to say that “The government is obviously aiming at the wrong target” as it is “perfectly clear to anyone who looks at the real picture that the government’s proposal is both draconian and has no basis in evidence.”