Whiplash claims cost drivers £118 a year
Whiplash claims cost every motorist £118 on their annual car insurance policy.
The surge of personal injury 'compensation culture' is also to blame for the 80% rise in motor premiums since October 2008, according to new research from Aviva.
The research also found that if insurers handled claims directly, an estimated £1.5 billion of excess cost could be stripped from UK motor insurance premiums, saving motorists an average of £60 a year on their car insurance.
A more efficient system
Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva, says: "Our primary concerns are that injured parties receive care and compensation as quickly as possible and that all motorists benefit from a reduction in the excessive costs that have built up in claims over the past few years.
"We are campaigning for a more efficient system that removes the 'interested parties' and requires people to deal directly with the insurer of the at-fault party."
However, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers argues insurers are not best placed to settle claims. "Putting the injured person entirely in the hands of the guilty party's insurer would create a profound conflict of interest," it told the BBC.
This is more usually a feature of car insurance but it can also crop up in contents, mobile phone and pet insurance policies. An excess is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company starts paying out. The excess makes up the first part of a claim, so if your excess is £100 and your claim is for £500, you would pay the first £100 and the insurer the remaining £400. Many online insures let you set your own excess, but the lower the excess, the more expensive the premium will be.