Back Civil Liability Bill to fight fraud says Aviva


Aviva is warning that the rising number and cost of fraudulent and exaggerated whiplash claims will continue to climb until the Civil Liability Bill, which is designed to reduce the cost of motor insurance, becomes law. Last year Aviva detected £59m of bogus injury claims, £9m more than 2016 and the third consecutive year of rising injury fraud. Motor insurance fraud accounts for 60% of all fraud Aviva detects. This is supported by ABI figures which show the value of fraudulent detected motor insurance claims rose by 4% on 2016 to £775 million. The number of these frauds also increased.

The warning from the UK’s biggest insurer follows last week’s second reading of the Civil Liability Bill in the House of Commons, where some questioned whether insurance fraud is a significant problem. In contrast, Aviva’s fraud figures show that it is investigating more than 17,000 personal injury claims for suspected fraud – an increase of more than 1,000 on the year before. These figures demonstrate the scale of fraud faced by the insurance industry, and the time, money, effort and expertise insurers are employing to fight fraud. 

Andrew Morrish, Claims Director, Aviva UK General Insurance, said “Insurance fraud is a crime, and as our figures show, it is big business. Our customers are telling us they are sick and tired of paying for fraud through inflated premiums. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

“The Civil Liability Bill is a rare opportunity to remove the financial incentives that are at the heart of motor insurance fraud and drive the UK’s compensation culture – including the 900m nuisance calls and texts made annually which try to encourage people to claim for an injury, often regardless of whether they’ve even been in an accident. The easy cash has everyone from fraudsters and opportunists to some injury lawyers and claims management companies plotting to find a way to get a piece of the pie – which is all paid for by honest customers.

“By enacting simple measures adopted in many other Western countries like France, Spain and Italy, such as having clear compensation awards based on the severity and duration of an injury, the bill can remove the financial incentives that lure fraudsters and reduce the cost of minor whiplash claims. Let’s not forget that motor insurance frauds like crash for cash put honest motorists in harm’s way, as well as pushing the cost of insurance up.

“Just as importantly, however, the Civil Liability Bill is expected to balance care for genuine injuries, including any financial loss a claimant suffers as a result of an accident. As happens today, insurers will continue to pay for necessary medical treatment for minor injuries as well any loss of earnings.”

Crash for Cash

Aviva also reported that crash for cash continues to be a significant source of the fraud it detects, with around 1,400 such cases detected so far this year alone. These accidents put motorists and their passengers at risk of real harm and divert emergency services such as police and ambulances from genuine need. 

Morrish continued, “Imagine you're driving the kids to school when the car in front slams on their brakes without warning, leaving you no chance of avoiding a crash. These deliberate accidents are on the increase, putting innocent motorists at risk simply so the driver in front can get cash compensation. I would urge Members of Parliament debating the bill to consider not only the financial harm that fraud causes – paid for by all of us – but also the very real risk of physical harm to innocent motorists from incidents like crash for cash.

“The solution is actually very straight-forward: reduce compensation awards as proposed in the Civil Liability Bill to remove the incentive for fraudsters to commit these terrible acts. This pro-consumer legislation will help make our roads safer, our insurance cheaper and deal a meaningful blow the UK’s compensation culture.”


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