LIVERPOOL LEADS WHIPLASH CLAIMS
Scousers most likely to claim for whiplash according to Government figures
The latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions reveal that in the year to the end of March 2011, claims made in the city totalled 18,500, or 22 per 1,000 residents. Silver medal in the claim shame stakes went to Uxbridge, West London with 21 per 1,000 residents with Oldham, Manchester next with 20 per 1,000.
Of the 10 cities with the least claims, nine were in Scotland. That can be explained by the fact that Scotland clamps down much harder on referral fees, the bizarre and highly controversial system by which insurers encourage speculative claims by selling on details of crash claimants to personal injury companies. "I don't believe people in Scotland have significantly stronger necks," Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva, told the Financial Times.
According to the AA, whiplash claims add an extra £90 to every single insurance premium. Last year insurers paid out £2 billion to settle just over half a million claims. A survey of doctors last year estimates around a quarter are bogus.
The problem is that it's too easy to fool the doctor. "You're unlikely to see any evidence because, if it's there, it's all in the soft tissue," said Richard Cuerden, technical director for vehicle safety at the Transport Research Laboratory.
Evidence of how ridiculous the situation has got can been seen on the thread started by PHer Greengecko, who's currently mired in a £7,000 claim after someone crashed into his - get this - wing mirror. "How can whiplash occur if [that was] the only impact?" he asks, reasonably enough.
He's taken a nice picture showing the tiny scratch that occurred. Read it and despair for the state of the British insurance industry that allows this happen.