For drivers, keeping the cost of insurance down is a big priority, but it has been revealed this week that the rise in whiplash injury claims is having a big effect on the cost of policies. Research carried out recently has shown that whiplash claims are adding £93 on average to each policy in the UK.
This has been driven in part by the prevalence of no win, no fee law firms that advertise more and more widely on commercial television and radio, and also employ cold calling techniques similar to those seen around PPI. This effective advertising has seen a marked rise in the number of claims and the number of compensation payouts that are being made each year.
In total it is estimated that these whiplash claims are costing around 2.5 billion pounds each year, a figure that inevitably gets passed back to motorists when they renew their car insurance.
The government has made moves over the last couple of years to tackle the compensation culture around motoring accidents but there are still around 850,000 claims made each year, which equates to an astonishing 2,300 claims each day. In fact around 8 out of 10 personal injury claims made in relation to a motoring accident involve whiplash.
In the UK the average policy price is £372, but across the pond in France premiums are around 40 per cent lower than that due to the fact that whiplash injuries make up just three per cent of all motor injury claims.
While there is huge financial incentive for the third-party companies that facilitate the claims to carry on doing so and a high number of motorists receiving a pay day, ultimately we all end up paying it back. There may be a gain to be had in the short term, but it is driving prices up and making the lives of motorists more difficult in the longer term.
It may be unpleasant truth but while there is a simple route to short term money, particularly after suffering the stress of a car accident, it would appear that people will keep taking it.