Jim Fitzpatrick – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Fitzpatrick on 2014-04-01.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the scale of (a) detected and (b) undetected insurance fraud in the last year for which figures are available.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The Government is committed to turning the tide on fraudulent personal injury claims. To this end, it is considering what specific reforms might be appropriate, including whether the Law Commission should be asked to consider this issue. We will make our conclusions known in due course.

No figures are available on the number of exaggerated or fabricated personal injury claims struck out by the courts. Figures for 2011 published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) indicate that whiplash claims cost customers more than £2 billion a year and add £90 to the average motor insurance premium.

The ABI describe 7% of all motor claims in 2011 – worth £441m – as fraudulent. In addition, they estimate that a further £1 billion of motor insurance fraud went undetected in 2011.

As announced last year, we are working with stakeholders in the industry to tighten the medical evidence process so that only evidence from accredited experts can be considered, and the costs for those reports can be fixed. This will mean people can no longer profit from exaggerated or fraudulent compensation claims but victims with genuine cases can still get the help they deserve. We are introducing these reforms later in the year. We are also working to secure better data on motor accident cases, including the number of fraudulent cases.