According to the Insurance Research Council’s (IRC) "Auto Injury Insurance Claims: Countrywide Patterns in Treatment, Cost, and Compensation, 2014 Edition" report, medical expenses for auto injury claimants are rising faster than inflation, despite the decline in severity of injuries.
Claims for economic losses among personal injury protection claimants rose 8 percent between 2007 and 2012, reaching an annualized $14,207 per claimant in 2012 for out-of-pocket expenses, medical care and lost wages. Average claimed losses among bodily injury claimants rose 4 percent to $10,541 in 2012. Cost increases could be the result of more expensive treatment and diagnostic options, increases in bill charges for visits to medical providers, the use of pain clinics, attorney involvement and claim abuse, says the IRC.
"Medical care costs continue to escalate, especially among first-party claimants," said IRC Senior Vice President Elizabeth Sprinkel. "Looking forward, the industry will need to continue its vigilance in contending with these expanding costs, particularly as it monitors the possible spillover effects from general healthcare reform."