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Personal Injury Claims rise

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Research has revealed that the number of personal injury claims has increased despite the number of accidents and car damage claims falling.

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries revealed that the North West area of the UK has had the most number of claims reported compared to other areas. The research also showed that car accidents giving rise to third party claims fell by 11% between 2010 & 2011. This is due to high fuel costs which results in motorists choosing to cut out unnecessary journeys.

However the number of Britons who claim to be suffering from whiplash has increased by 18% for 2010 and 2011. Payouts for such injuries are also up by 9% and are costing the insurance industry £400m.

The highest number of claims for bodily injury last year was in the North West of England, including whiplash hotspots such as Liverpool and Manchester. Other parts included Birmingham and some areas of East London. The lowest areas for claims rates were Aberdeen, Cambridge, Dorchester, Exeter and Kingston upon Thames.

David Brown, chairman of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries UK third party motor and PPO claims working parties which produce the annual reports commented: “The increase in costs to insurers because of the rise in bodily-injury claims is likely to result in a rise in motor insurance premiums for drivers.

“The clear correlation between claims management companies' office locations and the 'hotspots' for bodily injury claims suggests that the two are interlinked.

“We expect to see legislation coming soon which will affect the way in which claims management companies do business, which may account for the significant increase seen in 2011. It is possible this is a last hurrah.

“In 2010 the worst areas of the UK overtook the worst areas of the US in terms of the proportion of accidents involving bodily injury. It is disappointing to see this trend not only continue, but worsen in all regions with the exception of Scotland.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge