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Over 1.7 million motorists would consider making a personal injury claim after a road accident even if they weren’t badly hurt

14 March 2013

Gocompare.com comments on the ‘compensation culture' facing the government and the insurance industry trying to tackle whiplash claims

New research commissioned by Gocompare.com has revealed that over 1.7 million (6%) UK motorists would consider making a claim for a personal injury after a road accident, even if they knew they weren't badly hurt.

The survey of UK motorists, carried out in March 2013 also revealed that:

  • 66% feel that people making claims for minor injuries are pushing up the costs of insurance for everyone
  • 66% believe that personal injury lawyers should not be allowed to cold call or text people
  • 63% said that people should only claim for an injury if it caused them to miss work or directly affected their life
  • 6% of motorists would consider making a personal injury claim even if they knew they weren't badly hurt
  • 4% of motorists said that people should do whatever they can to get money out of insurers

However, despite nearly two thirds of motorists feeling that personal injury claims were pushing up the cost of insurance for everyone, almost the same number (63%) still believe it's fine for people to try to get compensation if they have been seriously injured in a road accident which wasn't their fault.

Scott Kelly, head of motor services at Gocompare.com, said: "Unfortunately, it's increasingly inevitable that a road accident will be swiftly followed by a claim for some sort of personal injury. And while genuine claims should be encouraged, inflated or false claims, which result in higher premiums for everyone as insurers pass the bill on to all drivers, must be addressed.

"Part of the blame lies with the claims companies which target people by telling them they can make thousands of pounds by claiming for injuries sustained in an accident on the road. New laws being introduced this April to ban referral fees and the use of incentives by claims management companies will hopefully go some way towards reducing the number of fake and exaggerated personal injury claims being made.

"We hope that government and industry-led initiatives will result in a more effective way of distinguishing between genuine claimants and have-a-go compensation chasers. If insurers are able to make sure they are only paying out for genuine claims, this will hopefully be reflected in all of our car insurance premiums."

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Notes to editors:

On the 7th-8th March 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,264 randomly selected British car drivers who are Springboard UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The 1.7 million figure is based on there being an estimated 28,420,877 motorists in the UK (Source - Department for Transport vehicle licencing statistics).  6.25% of car drivers said would consider making a personal injury claim after an accident even if they weren't badly hurt which = 1,776,305 drivers.