17th July 2015
Britons are receiving 468 nuisance calls and text messages every year and are wasting six and half hours a year dodging and deleting them.
Research by insurer LV= shows that one in three receive more nuisance calls and texts than they do from family and 80% of those who have received a personal injury call have never been in an accident for which they could claim.
Over a year, Britons collectively receive 60 million nuisance calls and texts a day, equivalent to 43,000 a minute and they are more annoying than noisy eaters, delayed trains, slow walkers and selfies.
Lawyers and claims management companies are the biggest culprits of the calls and texts, trying to encourage people to make a personal injury claim.
Nearly half, 46%, of the calls and texts received are along these lines despite four in five people having never been in an accident.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has received 180,000 complaints about unwanted promotional calls and text messages in the past year, a record number and a 12% increase on the previous year.
Claims management companies and lawyers spend millions on making these calls to encourage personal injury claims as the current rules allow a person to make a claim up to three years after an accident.
The insurance industry believes this rule is being taking advantage of and encourages claims that are exaggerated and even fraudulent.
LV= has called for the time period during which people can make an insurance claim for whiplash to be reduced in order to stop fraudulent practice.
It said that despite the number of motor accidents falling, the scale of the problem is growing – with more than 1,500 claims for whiplash made every day, and the Association of British Insurers estimates the claims add an average of £90 to the average motor insurance premium.
Martin Milliner, claims director at LV= car insurance, said: ‘Not only are these unwarranted calls and messages annoying millions of us, but they also lead to people attempting to make fraudulent claims.
‘Insurance is there to pay out for people who have actually been injured, not for people hoping to make some money illegally. We take a hard line on fraud and will push for the toughest sentence. We hope that amending the current rules to make them stricter, together with the fines being imposed by regulator, will help to tackle the problem.’