Weekly whiplash news review: 7 days ended 6 feb 2013:
A new report has named Fife Police as one of the police forces in the UK that have referred road traffic accident victims to insurers for cash.
Official spokespersons for the police force have flatly denied using the referrals to generate profit, instead remarking that the £194,000 it has taken in for passing on information since 2010 have gone to cover the administrative costs for paying personnel to file and manage paperwork. More than 16,000 Brits involved in accidents have had their details passed on for money by Fife Police, allowing insurers and claims management companies to then pursue these accident victims to make car accident claims for whiplash or any other injuries they may have received.
Fife Police officials were forced to admit that the figures, released after a Freedom of Information request, were indeed accurate. However, the funds collected were needed to cover the administration costs incurred whilst collating details, the spokesperson said, adding that there was no surplus or profit involved in the fee-taking procedure.
Fife Constabulary needs to put staff to work in order to complete all the necessities of these administrative duties, which include searching for files, making photocopies or printing them out, and then sending them by post. The money collected goes directly to pay the workers who perform these clerical duties, the spokesperson remarked.
Insurance provider LV, the originator of the research project that uncovered not just Fife Police’s money-making operation but similar ones taking place around the country, has been subject to criticism for allegedly misinterpreting the information it gathered.Scotland Yard in particular had harsh words for the insurer, remarking that the £5 million it has collected in fees over the past few years were not made from selling personal details on to claims management companies or personal injury compensation lawyers.