Shropshire insurance brokers say the expected winter weather conditions look set to bring a huge increase in the number of people faking injuries following car accidents.
Dave Williams, of Henshalls Insurance Brokers, in Newport and Shrewsbury, said the trend for people involved in motor accidents to attempt to claim compensation was definitely on the rise.
“The figures have increased greatly since the recession began, and now with the winter weather conditions the Met Office has predicted, it seems likely even more people will be following the trend.
“Almost every doctor who responded to the survey (98 per cent) said they had already seen patients who appeared to be exaggerating an injury in order to claim compensation.
“And nearly as many – 85 per cent – said they had seen a patient completely making it up, with the most common ‘injury’ they tried to fake being whiplash from a car accident.
“Obviously with the winter weather now setting in, many more people have decided it looks like a route to easy money.”
Dave said each year the National Health Service was losing out as the target for many claims, paying out almost £2 billion in compensation annually.
“Whiplash payments alone are responsible for 20 per cent of everyone’s car insurance premiums, so an increase in this kind of claim is bad news for all of us.”
And Dave warned that fraud against an employer or an insurance company was seen as a serious crime.
“Anyone found guilty will find themselves with a criminal record, could lose their job, and could even go to prison.”