LV= Reports That Fake Injuries Are On The Increase
on: August 11, 2009, 3:07 pm
LV= car insurance has reported that GPs have seen an increase
in the number of people feigning injury in order to claim compensation.
The research conducted among GPs has revealed that 65% of doctors have
seen an increase in the number of attempts to make a fraudulent injury
claim over the past ten years, with almost one in four reporting a
surge since the recession began.
The LV= research reveals a 25% rise in personal injury claims
over the past six years, costing the NHS £8m in consultation fees every year and the
insurance industry nearly £2bn in compensation payments*.
The most commonly attempted personal injury fraud is whiplash, which has a
significant impact on car insurance
costs, estimated at 20% of everyone's premium*. The insurance industry is working
closely with the medical profession to ensure that legitimate claims are supported
whilst weeding out any false claims.
Doctors have also reported cases of people trying to fake post-traumatic stress and
depression as ways of fraudulently claiming compensation.
The UK has twice the number of whiplash injuries reported compared with the rest of
Europe* and the medical profession is becoming more wary of people attempting to
make fraudulent claims. 49% of GPs said they are now more likely to scrutinise
patients 'injuries' where compensation could be gained, and 36% said they are now
less likely to write a letter to support a claim.
Dr Harry Brunjes, Chairman of LV='s medical advice provider, Premier Medical Group
commented: "The medical profession always has been, but is increasingly sensitive
to individuals who could potentially defraud their employer or insurer as a result
of exaggeration or even fabrication of clinical signs and symptoms."
Although the vast majority of GPs said the increase in faked injuries was driven by
people trying to get compensation [AU1]other common reasons cited included people
trying to get time off work (66%), the 'blame' culture that exists in the UK
(70%), because they are hypochondriacs (13%) or simply because they want attention
Martin Milliner, head of claims at LV= car insurance, said: "Clearly anyone
who has a genuine injury as a result of an accident that wasn’t their fault, and
loses out or can’t work as a result of it, is entitled to compensation. However
anyone trying to get money for an injury that doesn’t exist is not only breaking the
law but also wasting valuable NHS time and resources. We would urge any GP who has
doubts about someone reporting an injury to investigate further to ensure that it is
"People may see making up an injury as a result of a car accident as a harmless
crime and a quick way to make money, but if they are allowed to get away with it all
car insurance premiums would be pushed up which is unfair on the honest motorist."
Anyone found guilty of making a fraudulent claim will also have a criminal record,
could lose their job and could go to prison for three years or more, according to
the official Sentencing Guidelines Council guidance.
– ends –
Notes to Editors:
All research (unless marked otherwise) was conducted among 250 GPs by research
* ABI report ‘Tackling whiplash’ November 2008
LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS)
and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.
LV= employs over 3,800 people, serves around 3.6 million customers and members, and
manages around £7 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK’s largest friendly
society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008, total net assets)
and a leading mutual financial services provider.
LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number
110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County
Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.
69 Park Lane
0208 256 6714