Just one quarter of one per cent of motor claims are actually proven to be fraudulent, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said yesterday after analysing the insurance industry’s own figures.
It claimed that distorted figures on fraud in motor claims have been “swallowed whole by the government” and used to target injured motorists.
“We have discovered motor insurance fraud is actually a fraction of the level so often touted by the insurance industry,” said APIL president Jonathan Wheeler.
“No fraud can ever be justified or condoned. But the fact that there is far less of it than we have all been led to believe, and that it is still being used to justify government proposals to abolish the right to compensation for some whiplash injuries, is an absolute scandal. The government has obviously fallen for the insurance industry’s smokescreen.
“A proper analysis of the insurance industry’s own figures  shows that only 0.25 per cent of motor claims are actually proven to be fraudulent.
“That includes policy-holders over-egging their own claims, or making false declarations when they apply for insurance. Only a fraction of those will be whiplash claims – we don’t know how many for certain, because there are no industry figures on this.
“Yet the government claims that removing the right to compensation for some whiplash claims will fight fraud and reduce car insurance premiums.”
James Dalton, the Association of British Insurers’ director of general insurance policy, said: “The insurance industry’s fraud data stands up to scrutiny, which is more than APIL’s groundless assertions do.
“In 2014, insurers detected 67,000 fraudulent motor claims with a total value of £835m. That would represent a staggering additional cost to honest motorists if insurers weren’t cracking down on the cheats so we make no apology for doing so.
“We will continue to press for a compensation system which ensures that genuine claimants receive the compensation they are entitled to at proportionate cost, while protecting honest customers against those who continue to exploit the system through frivolous, exaggerated and fraudulent claims.
“And no doubt the lawyers will continue to complain as they see their lucrative gravy train in danger of hitting the buffers.”