Whiplash adds £118 to car insurance

Claims for whiplash injuries following car accidents are costing drivers an extra £118 on their car insurance, according to new data from car insurance firm Aviva.

The company’s study has called for a rethink of the car insurance system following the onset of “compensation culture” and spurious, fraudulent whiplash claims from minor vehicle crashes.

It’s thought a shake-up could cut £1.5 billion in excess costs, approximately 50% of the current total spent on handling the 550,000 whiplash claims submitted to car insurance companies every year.

Consequently, this would mean around a 60% reduction in insurance premiums for UK drivers.

Personal injury claims are the main driving force behind an 80% increase in cover costs since October 2008.

Aviva Claims Director, Dominic Clayden:

“We are campaigning for a more efficient system that removes the ‘interested parties’ [third parties that act on behalf of a claimant following a car crash] and requires people to deal directly with the insurer of the at fault party.”

It is suggested that it should be a legal requirement for claimants to contact the “at fault” insurer right away, reducing the typical £2,500 cost in third party legal fees for a whiplash claim.

 

FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE LEARNING TO DRIVE

The number of young people learning to drive has dropped by 18% since the beginning of the financial crisis, new Department for Transport statistics have outlined.

It’s thought that a contracting economy and the escalating cost of motoring – including soaring fuel prices and insurance costs – has resulted in nearly one fifth fewer 17 to 19-year-olds putting in for their tests since 2007.

The trend remains across the board for young drivers – not just teenagers – with the number of people in their 20s applying for the driving test falling by more than 10%.

Recent figures published by Asda Money estimate the cost of putting a teenage learner driver on the road at around £5,000, including £1,500 worth of driving lessons and £1,200 on their first vehicle.

Insurance costs make up a large proportion of this outlay due to an 80% increase in young driver premiums since 2010 – now close to three times the cover costs of a 50 to 59-year-old motorist.

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