Personal injury claims soar despite fewer accidents
The number of road accidents fell by 11 per cent in 2011 and yet the number of personal injury claims increased by 18 per cent.
The figures were revealed in a report by the Institute And Faculty Of Actuaries.
The study found that more personal injury claims are made in areas which are well supplied with claims management companies, suggesting that the marketing used by these companies is directly influencing drivers and passengers to make a claim.
An increase in false claims for whiplash and other injuries has been blamed for helping to fuel a rise in insurance premiums.
The ongoing increase in personal injury claims is costing insurers around £400 million a year, the report said.
Areas with high levels of personal injury claims include Liverpool, Oldham, Wigan and Manchester.
Personal injury claim rates were lowest in Aberdeen, Cambridge, Dorchester, Exeter and Kingston upon Thames.
The Institute’s chairman, David Brown, said: “The increase in costs to insurers is likely to result in a rise in motor insurance premiums for drivers.
“The clear correlation between claims management office locations and the ‘hotspots’ for bodily injury claims suggests the two are interlinked.
“We expect to see legislation coming soon which will affect the way these companies do business.”
The fall in the number of accidents was attributed to motorists making less journeys because of the high cost of fuel.
In related news, insurer Brightside has entered into a motor insurance partnership with Debenhams.
The Debenhams-branded motor insurance product will be available through Brigthside’s website and call centres.
Brightside’s Chief Executive, Martyn Holman, said: “This partnership between two major players in their relevant industries will benefit both for many years to come.
“We are delighted to manage Debenhams Car Insurance services, and look forward to bringing the brand to the attention of a large audience.”