Britons think that committing fraud by falsifying injuries for motor insurance claims is worse than buying stolen goods and as bad as drunk driving, according to research conducted by Aviva
The study revealed that 87% of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed thought that making a false whiplash claim was unacceptable, compared to 88% which said the same about drunk driving. Meanwhile, only 79% disagreed with buying stolen items.
The research measured Briton’s attitudes toward various situations and their perceived consequences to help explain why the compensation culture around whiplash is widespread in the UK.
With regard to false insurance claims, while most people think faking injury is unacceptable, 8% are indifferent towards it, while 5% are comfortable with it. This actually correlates with Aviva
’s data that 11% of personal injury claims it handles annually is tainted with fraud.
According to Aviva
, whiplash claims cost motorists £2.5bn a year and raises the average motor insurance premium by £93. It is currently investigating 14,000 suspicious whiplash claims. Recently, the insurer had put to a halt
a £250,000 insurance claim by 46 passengers on a ‘party bus’, despite the accident in question being a low-speed impact causing only £70 worth of damage to the vehicle. Semi-professional footballer Gary Burnett was given a suspended four-month jail sentence for contempt of court following a spurious whiplash claim.
Rob Townend, claims director of Aviva UK General
Insurance, said: “It’s great to see that false whiplash claims are completely unacceptable for the vast majority of Brits, however there’s no such thing as victimless crime and it just takes a few bad apples to spoil it for the rest of us. The temptation of financial or personal gain often causes people to wrestle with decisions, while others turn a blind eye entirely – especially when the immediate impact of their actions is not apparent.
“Thankfully the Government is set to put an end to the whiplash gravy train and Aviva
will pass 100% of the savings to our customers. For the honest majority this will mean reduced premiums and a refocus on getting legitimate claimants back on their feet with care not cash.”
Some other notable attitudes and the percentage of those who found them unacceptable were:
- Downloading or streaming movies/music illegally (51%)
- Buying tickets from a tout (57%)
- Lying on a job application (67%)
- Speeding in a 30 mph zone (71%)
- Dodging a train fare (78%)
- Cheating on an exam paper (83%)