Claims for whiplash put
up insurance premiums
Whiplash injury claims are forcing up motor insurance premiums by an average of £66, it is claimed.
The extent to which such injuries are placing increased pressure on hard-pressed motorists is revealed in a survey by AA Insurance as part of a report by the Association of British Insurers.
This shows that 1,200 people claim for whiplash injury every day following a motor collision, an increase of 25 per cent over the past five years.
The report, Tackling whiplash: prevention, care, compensation, says that 430,000 people claimed for whiplash injury in 2007, costing the insurance industry £1.9?billion in compensation.
According to Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance: “The cost of whiplash claims equates to about £66 for every UK car insurance policy, or about 14 per cent of the average premium This is more than twice the cost of claims for accidents with uninsured drivers.
“Over the past year, the average quoted premium for a comprehensive car insurance policy increased by 8.7 per cent and whiplash injury will become an increasingly important factor in future premium increases.”
However, Edmund King, president of the AA, points out that most whiplash injuries are avoidable.
“Drivers and passengers can help prevent themselves becoming victims of whiplash by adjusting head restraints before they drive off. The top of the head restraint should be level with the top of the driver’s head, or at least no lower then eye level. Drivers can avoid inflicting whiplash on themselves and others by keeping a safe distance – at least two seconds – from the vehicle ahead.”