The Money Shot – May 4th 2012

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

WHIP IT! WHIP IT REAL GOOD!

Whiplash, that notoriously difficult-to-diagnose (but highly lucrative) personal injury, is a real pain in the neck for the insurance industry. Its thought that it adds about £90 to everybody’s policy every year. In fact, Britain has such a high incidence of claims related to this sort of malady, that it’s been branded ‘The Whiplash Capital of Europe’ – we’re already the ‘The Binge Drinking Capital of Europe’ and ‘The Obesity Capital of Europe’. Shouldn’t we leave some accolades for the rest of the continent?

So, it came to pass this week that ‘the industry’s’ big swinging Dicks descended on Westminster to discuss what on earth should be done about all this sort of thing, at a ‘summit’ held by justice secretary, real ale enthusiast and jazz connoisseur Ken Clarke. With the amount of accidents down in recent years and the amount of whiplash claims up, it seems that something should be sorted out.

Anecdotal evidence (heard down the pub) suggests that most whiplash diagnoses are rudimentary at best, so plans have been ‘mooted’ to bring Britain’s procedures into line with that of Germany, where independent checks carried out by other doctors to ascertain whether the claim is for real, and having minimum threshold of 9mph for any claim to take place.

It all sounds good to us, but the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers - whose members would stand to lose a fair bit should the reforms came in – don't agree.Karl Tonks, the body’s president chimed back: 'Whiplash injuries are real, they can be long term, and must not be trivialised. Before it announces a raft of propositions which risk barring genuinely injured people from bringing legitimate claims, the vernment must have a wider debate about the real issues, and it must also hold the insurance industry to account.” “I'm really concerned that in all the latest populist rhetoric about whiplash claims, everyone is being tarred with the same brush,” he continued.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“We have fewer crashes than all of Europe but more claims. We either have weaker necks — or there’s more fraud.”

Phil Bird of the AA on the aforementioned whiplash hoo-ha.

ROCKET MAN

This year, the world’s eyes will be on Britain for a momentous occasion which will bring together dedicated individuals from around the globe to compete for the biggest prize of all – no, it’s not the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling competition, or the World Gurning Championships at Ergremont Crab Fair – it’s some do called The Olympics, and it’s being held in London in a few months time, apparently.

To make sure that the capital will be as safe as possible, sophisticated missile defence systems will be placed on top of blocks of flats and commercial buildings throughout the city. While this all actually sounds pretty cool, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there might be some insurance implications when there are a few tonnes of ballistic equipment perched on top of your home or workplace.

We rang Malcolm Tarling at the Association of British Insurers to get the lowdown. “If you’re concerned about this, then talk to your landlord and they will confirm with insurers what the arrangements are,” advises Malcolm. That’s that cleared up then.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Royal Bank of Scotland has said that its mostly paid off all of that £163bn we found down the back of the sofa to keep it afloat a few years ago.

Justine Greening, the transport secretary has ‘thrown her weight’ behind telematics car insurance.

Victims of PPI missellingare missing out on money to the tune of £80m because of using claim companies rather than doing it themselves, according to Thisismoney.com

Ofgem, the energy sector watchdog, paid out more than £1m in bonuses to staff during 2010 and 2011.

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance tutted: "It's outrageous that so many staff are doing so well out of complicated and ineffective policies.

ON GOCOMPARE.COM NEWS THIS WEEK

Kristian Dando, the most unlikely motorcyclist since Clarissa Dickinson Wright, told us all how he got on with his compulsory basic training. He didn’t fall off, but got a bit upset.

Apparently, it’ll cost well over £4,000 for the average England fan to get to the Euro 2012 final in Kiev, should the England football team not conspire to limp out at the group stage.

AND FINALLY…

Full marks to this regular reader of The Money Shot, who submitted this screenshot of him telling a PPI claimback firm where to go in no uncertain terms.

What’s more impressive is how the company registered his objections, and has ceased contacting him. Proof, if it was ever needed, that it pays to never mince your words.

Join us for another thrilling instalment of THE MONEY SHOT. In the meantime, why not email the editor with your letters. If we print them, you could receive a prized Gocompare.com stationery set and an autographed picture of Gio Compario, star of our award winning* ad campaign. Three are up for grabs every week. (Promoter: Gocompare.com Ltd) *Marketing magazine’s ‘Most Irritating Advert’ 2009/2010