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LV= calls for quick and comprehensive response as UK named world capital for whiplash

Press release: 29/01/2016

  • UK is world capital for whiplash claims - beating even the USA
  • Behaviour of claims management companies driving rise in whiplash claims
  • LV= calls on Government to implement all Insurance Fraud Taskforce recommendations urgently

The UK out-paces even the USA when it comes to whiplash claims - making Britain the world capital for such activity, according to the latest findings from LV= Motor Insurance.

Analysis of a private study, conducted in the United States, and compared with UK data by LV='s experts, confirm the UK is effectively the ‘World Capital for Whiplash'. Currently, around two-thirds (65%) of injury claims in the USA are estimated to be made up of whiplash - far less than the near eight in 10 level (78%) seen in the UK. [1]

Focussing on drivers who have had an accident within the last two years, LV='s investigation reveals the lengths that claims management companies (CMCs) go to in order to persuade drivers to claim. The research found that the average driver receives five calls or texts following a crash, with most told that there is ‘money waiting for them'. Many also felt pressured into progressing a claim. [2] While one in eight (12%) were even contacted before they reported their accident to their insurer, suggesting that the trade in accident victims' data swings into action within minutes of an incident occurring.

The Government announced in the Autumn Statement that it would crack down on minor whiplash claims - ultimately leading to reduced premiums for honest consumers. LV= is now calling on Government to act both quickly and comprehensively on implementing the new recommendations of the Insurance Fraud Taskforce, which published its 14-point plan last Monday (18 January 2016).


Martin Milliner, GI Claims Director of LV= insurance, said:

"'Whiplash Capital of the World' is an unfortunate moniker and not one we should be proud of. And it's UK motorists who are suffering by paying some of the highest prices for insurance in Europe - with motorists in some regions, such as the North West [3], bearing the burden of fraud more than others. For years it's been a game of cat and mouse between the insurance industry and fraudsters - when what we need is a multi-pronged solution that will benefit the consumer once and for all.

"Government makes one change to the system and the fraudsters find a way around it - meaning further action is needed and fraud persists. Already we are noticing a rise in rehabilitation fraud, highlighting the need for swift implementation of the Autumn Statement reforms. The more time it takes to implement changes, the easier it makes it for fraudsters to find another loophole, hitting the pocket of the honest consumer.

"We would like to see a quick and comprehensive response from Government to implement all the Insurance Fraud Taskforce's recommendations. LV= has already confirmed it would pass on all savings from the Autumn Statement whiplash crackdown to consumers - we now need these further recommendations to be implemented urgently so customers can further benefit sooner rather than later."


LV='s research found that the majority of UK drivers involved in a collision (52%) received a call or text telling them to file for compensation with nearly half (44%) contacted within 24 hours of the accident. In most cases (57%), the person receiving the call had no idea how their details had been sourced and where drivers attended A&E, two thirds (67%) were approached by someone who said they should make a compensation claim.

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For further information please contact:

Nicola Hussey, nicola.hussey@lv.com, 020 8253 5238 / 07468 761 128


  1. LV= sourced figures for US whiplash claims from the Insurance Research Council (private study: Auto Injury Insurance Claims: Countrywide Patterns in Treatment, Cost and Compensation), which revealed that whiplash (neck sprain or strain) made up 65% of bodily injury claims in 2014. This is compared to ABI figures (submitted to Transport Select Committee: Whiplash in 2014) which showed the UK equivalent figure as 78% and EU 48%.

    The study was supplemented by a bespoke study involving 506 drivers who were involved in an accident in the last two years. This was carried out via online polling 25-28 September 2015 by Opinium Research.
  2. Of those involved in an accident who received a call or text, 68% were told that they had money waiting for them and 59% said they were pressured by the person who called them
  3. http://www.confused.com/car-insurance/price-index/region

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LV=

LV= employs 6,000 people and serves over 5.7 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.