How to spot car insurance fraudsters at work

Car fraudDespite the government and the insurance industry’s best efforts; car insurance fraud continues to climb. Research by a leading insurer has revealed a 30% jump in fraud over the past 12 months and it’s law abiding motorists who are paying the price.

We have all heard of ‘cash for crash’ scams, but there are plenty of other ways that fraudsters are bumping-up premiums. In fact, the most common type of fraud involves ‘low speed collisions’ which now account for a third of all bogus claims. Car parks are the favourite setting and the car insurance crooks often claim for existing vehicle damage or personal injury compensation.

While low speed crashes make up the lion’s share of corrupt claims (36%) fraudsters also operate in organised rings (15%), stage accidents (15%), and claim for ‘phantom passengers’ who simply aren’t there (8%). Car insurance fraud is estimated to cost the industry £350 million every year and adds £50.00 to every policy.

If you think you may have been involved in a suspicious collision take the following steps:

  • The first thing to do is check that everybody is safe and call the emergency services if anyone has been injured.
  • Alarm bells might start ringing if the other motorist is unduly aggressive and appears to be bullying you into admitting culpability for something that may not have been your fault.
  • The opposite is also true and it pays to be wary of motorists who are overly calm and behave as if they had ‘anticipated’ the accident.
  • Other tell-tale signs of fraudulent claims include immediate pleas of personal injury that seem disproportionate to the impact of the collision and drivers ready with their insurance details already written down.
  • Provided that everybody is safe the next step is to get the other motorist’s personal details (name, address and contact) vehicle details (make and registration) and insurance provider.
  • If there are any witnesses to the incident make sure you get their contact details as they could prove very useful. However, it’s worth noting that scammers often plant bogus witnesses.
  • Take photos of the collision and make a note of exactly what happened. Shock can have a delayed reaction and it’s easy to get details muddled if you rely solely on your memory; so write everything down.
  • Report the incident to your insurer and tell them exactly why you suspect a fraudulent claim. Next report the incident to the Insurance Fraud Bureau either online or by calling their Cheatline on Tel: 0800 422 0421.
  • Remember that you could be dealing with career criminals, so keep your immediate suspicions to yourself, and don’t do anything that could put you in harm’s way.







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