We’ve seen a huge rise in ‘crash for cash’ claims, with Aviva reporting in excess of £110 million worth of fraudulent claims in 2013, almost 20% up on 2012, all this whilst reporting 45 fraudulent claims everyday. Taking these figures into consideration, the insurance industry states that approximately 1 in 10 personal injury claims are linked to suspected ‘crash for cash’ scenarios.
In a ‘crash for cash’ situation, ‘accidents’ are staged, putting drivers and potentially pedestrians at major risk, in order to make fraudulent, and fabricated claims for vehicle damage, general ‘costs’ and personal injury. The money that’s made from these fraudulent claims will usually contribute to other, more serious crimes.
It’s useful information to know that, those most commonly targeted are drivers least likely to cause a scene- this could be the elderly, or parents with children. Well-kept cars and those with private plates are also known to be at higher risk.
One of the most common ways that these scenarios are carried out is staging a crash from behind since these are usually the ones at fault in an honest situation. However, fraudsters have been known to slam their brakes on at a pedestrian crossing, despite there being no hazards in the road ahead, they may also pull out in front of you, and break sharply giving you no time to avoid going into the back of them.
Perhaps not so surprising, whiplash fraud goes on to make up the largest percent of fake claims, with bodily injury fraud totalling to 59 percent of total fraud, Aviva detects. Although, work is being carried out to tackle these crimes- currently, Aviva are reviewing close to 20,000 bodily injury claims to ensure their authenticity.
More so, seventeen people have been charged in a recent ‘crash for cash’ scheme in Derbyshire. They face an upcoming trial this January, following their charge of conspiracy to defraud. This comes after a crackdown by police the to investigate claims of staged road collisions. The gang of fraudsters, as a collective, received 42 years and seven months, after carrying a £700,000 dupe in Derbyshire.
Police stated that the con was ‘sophisticated and well-organised conspiracy’, and that those drivers targeted were ‘harmed emotionally and physically’. The group purposefully caused 41 accidents in and around the county, in order to illegally claim the money from insurers.