Apil president challenges insurers to stamp out fraud

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 13 Nov 2012:

The president of a personal injury law trade body has thrown down the gauntlet in front of insurers, calling for them to do more to stamp out fraudulent claims.

Karl Tonks, the president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, has had it with insurance companies in letting people bring fraudulent personal injury claims in such large numbers after Apil revealed new research that points the finger squarely at the insurance industry for the high volume of whiplash claims in the UK.

Apil’s 2012 whiplash report says that only around 1 per cent of the more than 4,000 survey respondents actually suffered whiplash injury last year. However, nearly four out of every ten Brits that did suffer such an injury didn’t even bother to make a personal injury compensation claim, according to the Association’s findings.

The number of personal injury claims for whiplash have declined by nearly 24,000 over the past 12 months, Apil’s figures claim. However, those suffering from whiplash symptoms for longer than a year since their accident number 20 per cent, the Association claims.

Insurers encourage around 30 per cent of these whiplash claims, according to Apil’s data. Mr Tonks said the time is now for major insurers in the UK to put an end to this practice as he spoke alongside Apil supporter and Labour MP for Nottingham South Lillian Greenwood at a recent Westminster reception.

Genuine whiplash sufferers are being made out as money hungry, Mr Tonks said, even though that the number of honest claimants are not causing problems for the insurance industry. Instead, fraud is the true issue, remarked the president, calling for fraudulent claims to be actively stamped out by not just the legal profession and the government but by the insurance sector as well.

Mr Tonks, who stated he has no fear of controversial subjects, said he has fears that the need to look after those who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own is getting lost in much of the sound and the fury that currently surrounds the personal injury industry. This has prompted Mr Tonks and Apil to formulate a ten point plan for making it much harder for insurance fraud to be perpetrated in the future.

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