Distorted figures on fraud in motor insurance claims have been “swallowed whole by the Government” and used to target injured motorists, lawyers have warned.
“We have discovered motor insurance fraud is actually a fraction of the level so often touted by the insurance industry,” said Jonathan Wheeler, president of APIL, a national not-for-profit campaign group for injured people.
“No fraud can ever be justified or condoned. But 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. The Government has obviously fallen for the insurance industry’s smokescreen.
“A proper analysis of the insurance industry’s own figures* shows that only 0.25 per cent of motor claims are actually proven to be fraudulent,” he explained.
“That includes policy-holders over-egging their own claims, or making false declarations when they apply for insurance. Only a fraction of those will be whiplash claims – we don’t know how many for certain, because there are no industry figures on this. Yet the Government claims that removing the right to compensation for some whiplash claims will fight fraud and reduce car insurance premiums.
“The Government is obviously aiming at the wrong target,” said Mr Wheeler. “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.
“The plans are an attempt to legislate away a long-held fundamental right to compensation for genuine injury.
“The Government has also announced that commuters will soon be able to claim compensation it their trains are more than 15 minutes late. The fact that a 15 minute delay is seen as more important than compensation for a real, bodily injury beggars belief.”