A double-decker party bus colliding with a Ford Fiesta car at a roundabout in Crewe sounds like a terrible accident. But for this particular incident in 2012, the Fiesta was moving at less than 10mph, causing minor damage to the car’s bumper and a £70 bill for the bus repairs. However, all 46 passengers of the bus lodged insurance claims for whiplash, totalling £250,000, according to Aviva
, which insured the driver of the Fiesta.
The car driver described the impact as minimal, and most of the passengers of the bus were unaware of the collision and none received medical attention before continuing partying at a nightclub. But afterwards, all the passengers filed claims for whiplash, a neck injury caused by sudden acceleration or deceleration, throwing the head violently in the opposite direction.
The UK has a high incidence of insurance claims due to whiplash, consisting up to 80% of auto insurance claims. Meanwhile, France only has 3%. Some insurers automatically pay whiplash claims up to £3,000 because it’s cheaper than fighting a case.
, however, decided to contest the party bus passengers’ claims, saying that the extent of injuries claimed is hugely disproportional to the damage sustained by both vehicles.
After having their claims rejected, 23 of the bus passengers decided to hire lawyers and produced medical evidence. All claimants eventually dropped their cases before they went to court.
Tom Gardiner, head of fraud at Aviva
, said, “This claim highlights the outrageous scale of whiplash fraud in the UK being driven by the current system, and which frankly has become a national disgrace. We believe our customers are fed up paying for spurious and fraudulent injury claims through their premiums and they expect us to defend these claims on their behalf.”
revealed that they have over 4,000 whiplash claims suspected to be linked to organised “cash for crash” schemes and that they have detected a 19% rise in organised insurance scams in 2015.