Over 12 million nuisance calls soliciting auto accident claims happen each day, with a rash of “ambulance-chasing lawyers” encouraging fraud.
In a report published by AXA
Insurance, the activity is encouraging insurance fraud, particularly false whiplash claims, which drive up premiums. Around £90 of each car insurance policy goes toward paying for whiplash claims, which hit a record high last year.
According to Amanda Blanc, executive director of AXA
UK, claims management firms are to blame for the high number of nuisance calls “fishing” for claims. A survey conducted by the insurer showed that 20% of people receive an unsolicited call daily while 50% get at least one call each week.
“These companies have proven very successful at finding ways around legislation and some are operating at the edge of the law. Quite often they claim someone has been in an accident when they haven’t, which shows they are just making random calls to people … Our study found that a clear majority of people feel these calls invade their privacy. More pressure needs to be brought to bear to rein in the industry’s excesses,” Blanc said.
The report called for mandatory caller identification, banning of automated voicemail calls, and a one-year deadline to make whiplash claims.
The Government has considered banning cash payouts for minor whiplash claims, and instead proposed paying directly for physiotherapy.