There are some huge insurance stories out there, recently Rowan Atkinson claimed £910,000 to repair his McLaren F1 when he crashed it leaving the engine twenty meters away from the rest of it. However, his was a genuine case of a genuine accident. With the downturn in the economy lasting longer than predicted, false insurance claims have spiked to a record high.
We’ve all heard the multiple stories about people claiming for whiplash when they’ve been in the smallest of fender benders. But these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Take the driver of car which recently crashed into a bus. Having claimed for their injuries and the damage to their car, the insurance company then received thirty four further claims from the passengers who were in the bus. when the insurers investigated the incident it turned out that the bus was only a 31 seater and was half full at the time of the accident.
In 2011, four men from north London were prosecuted after investigating police discovered they were responsible for more than 120 car accidents and over £1 million of associated insurance claims. The gang ran an accident management company which made it easy for them to commit motor insurance fraud. They would report a series of high-end expensive cars being involved in accidents with older rundown cars. This would allow for the gang to claim on the insurance of the cheaper car, claiming for towing costs, body work repair, courtesy cars and serious personal injuries.
Indeed, a gang of sixty people has recently been found guilty in a crash for cash insurance scam. Crash for cash, is exactly what it sounds like. Usually involving a car cutting in front of a lorry and breaking suddenly, forcing the lorry to crash into the rear of the car. Police officers in County Durham had been investigating 1,800 insurance claims handled by two local companies. They discovered that false claims for just 25 accidents had made the gang more than £514,000. During the time the criminal gang were in operation, the average price of car insurance had risen by £100, which is way above the national average.
In a shocking case of clinical negligence, fake medical certificates were sold to British holiday makers on holiday in India. Certificates for dengue fever were sold stating that the patient had been treated for the illness and a bill would be attached. These certificates would then be used by the holidaying scam artist, to claim thousands of pounds from the insurance company for treatment that never happened.
Whilst insurance scams can seem to only affect the big insurance companies, this is not the case. With every fake insurance claim that is processed and paid out, your insurance premiums will have to increase. The small, one time payments for whiplash alone average around £2,500. There is only one way for an insurance company to claim this revenue back and that is through increased premiums for all of their customers.
Greg is an avid law writer specialising in injury law for a reputable solicitors firm in the UK.