Road to recovery

Article date: 24 October 2006

For millions of Britons driving is an integralpart of everyday life, with many using their cars as part of theirjobs too. Yet getting back behind the wheel after a motoringaccident can be a traumatic event and it’s no surprise thatmany drivers find it very difficult.

Over 30,000 people were seriously injured in car accidents in 2004and extensive studies have shown that motoring accidents can causeanxiety, for lengthy periods following the crash, as well as fearsand phobias about driving or being a passenger in a car.*

“Motor insurance does a great job of looking after thecar,” says Stephen Dullenty, product development manager atNorwich Union. “But we believe there should be somethingavailable to also look after the driver.”

PhysioFast is an optional cover that Norwich Union Directcomprehensive motor insurance customers can add to their policieswhich can help drivers recover both physically and emotionally fromcar accidents. The cover includes physiotherapy support for boththe insured driver and passengers** involved, and a two-hour driverconfidence session with a professional driving instructor fromNorwich Union sister company BSM is also included as part of thepackage.

During the driver confidence consultations drivers are taken backto the scene of the accident – or somewhere similar - toassess the factors and risks that may have contributed to theaccident. Tailored specifically to the driver’s individualneeds, the session also includes a review of basic driving skillsto improve overall driving safety.

Stephen Dullenty continued: “We recognise that some driversmay lose confidence following an accident. That’s why we havearranged for BSM to provide support to our customers who believethey will benefit from a professional refresher drivingsession.”

Personal injury claims are increasing year-on-year by 5% –80% of small claims involve a whiplash element.*** PhysioFast is anopportunity to help injured parties get better, faster.

“Delays in diagnosis can result in even more seriouscomplications and reduce the chances of a full and speedy recovery,so making sure you have the right cover is key as it allows you toreceive the right treatment for physical or emotionalinjuries,” said Mr Dullenty.

PhysioFast can be added to the Norwich Union comprehensive motorpolicy for £15 a year and entitles the insured driver and his orher passengers to:

  • Speedy referral to a fully qualified charteredphysiotherapist 
  • An initial consultation to determine the suitability and levelof treatment required
  • Up to eight treatment sessions for each injured person andimmediate access to expert clinician
  • Full report sent to your GP on completion of your treatment.


*Research by RAC Foundation, 2005
**Not third party passengers
*** 80% of claims below £5000 contain a whiplash element - NorwichUnion claims data 2006

For further information, pleasecontact:
Sophie Lam, Lexis PR, on 020 7908 6482
Erik Nelson, Norwich Union press office, 01603 682264/07989427086

Notes to editors:

PhysioFast covers:

  • Physiotherapy treatment from a Norwich Union appointed charteredphysiotherapist who is of the opinion that treatment will helprecovery. The most paid for each injured person is £400
  • Fast track applications – customers are usually contactedwithin 48 hours of the request
  • Customers are covered even if the accident was their fault,there is no impact on no-claims discount (NCD) (claims includingyour vehicle still affect your NCD), and your passengers alsobenefit from this fast track service

Think! Road Safety Website, Department for Transport: There were277,619 injuries as a result of car accidents in 2004, of these,31,130 were seriously injured and 246,489 were slightlyinjured.

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre: Whiplash is the mostfrequently reported minor injury in motor vehicle crashes, with250,000 cases per year in the UK. 10% of whiplash injuriessustained are long-term (last more than one month). 1% of whiplashinjuries are permanent, affecting 2,000 people every year.

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre: Statistics show femalesare two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer whiplash injury thanmales.

About Norwich Union
Norwich Union is theUK’s largest general insurer with a market share of around14%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment productsand one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAsprovide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in theUK.

Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of images areavailable from Aviva's internet press centre at

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