Ahead of their Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, the UK’s third largest car insurance provider, AVIVA, has continued its seemingly relentless cries of ‘whiplash fraud’ and ‘compensation culture’.
AVIVA UK claimed last week that it ‘detected’ £110m worth of insurance fraud in 2013 which they said was an increase of 19% on the previous year.
However, in the same press release the company gave a figure of 1.9% for the number of fraudulent claims as a percentage of their caseload. The 1.9% contrasts with a fraud figure of 7% supplied by the insurance industry to Parliament.
At the same time as pumping out confusing and inconsistent figures for fraud on the one hand, AVIVA is much less figure happy when it comes to its profits from car insurance on the other.
The company’s 2013 annual report says it made an operating profit from general insurance in the UK of £431 million in 2013, but it has so far rejected Thompsons’s call for it to say how much of that comes from UK motorists – contrary, we believe, to financial reporting rules.
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors said: “AVIVA bandy around unsubstantiated and highly questionable figures to keep the ‘compensation culture’ bogeyman alive but when it comes to divulging the lucrative profits they make from car insurance they clam up.
“AVIVA and AXA are painting a false picture of a crisis. Surely if insurers ‘detect’ fraud they don’t pay out, so it won’t hit their bottom line. If they are ‘detecting’ fraud but paying out shareholders should be asking questions. What this is really about is keeping up the crisis. A crisis justifies pressure on the government and keeps profits high. AVIVA label UK motorists with genuine claims as fraudsters whilst refusing to disclose how much profit they are making from them. It’s all pseudo-science and sweeping assertion with nothing backed up and no transparency. Given that car insurance is an essential purchase, this only goes to show why UK motorists need a watchdog to protect them from blatant profiteering.”