The sustained crackdown on insurance fraud is paying dividends with a fall in both the number and cost of dishonest claims uncovered last year according to data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI). However, the average detected fraud was at a record £12,283, due to the slower fall in their total value.
Fraudulent claims come in all shapes and sizes from basic exaggeration of costs to the wild and wacky. Here are some of the more unusual ones:
- A woman lied to family, friends and her insurer when she reported that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had approximately one year to live. Her claim, which would have paid over £130,000, fell apart when the hospital confirmed that they had no record of her as a patient.
- Another woman pretended to be a passenger in a genuine vehicle collision to make a bogus personal injury claim for nearly £4,000.However,investigations revealed that she was in fact on holiday in Egypt when she was supposedly receiving medical treatment.
- A professional footballer received a one-year community order after admitting taking out a one-hour motor insurance policy to try and cover his tracks after colliding with another vehicle while driving uninsured.
- In Scotland a semi-professional footballer was filmed scoring a hat trick, despite claiming he had suffered whiplash in a car crash only hours before.
- Claiming that his car had been vandalised, a man was found to have caused the extensive damage himself.
- Convicted of pocketing over £50,000 in just over 15 months by selling hundreds of fraudulent motor insurance policies the fraudster was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
- Three people attempted to defraud insurers of over £48,000 with a crash for cash scam, but were foiled when their in-car telematics (black box) showed that the damage had been caused on a different date while the vehicle was stationary.
- Two men were found to have grossly exaggerated a minor accident. They both made personal injury claims after being hit by a drunk driver at around 40 mph, but were foiled when the driver revealed that his foot had slipped from the brake and had rolled into the car at no more than three miles per hour.
- A mother of two received a suspended prison sentence after being caught claiming for items worth over £3,000 after alleging her luggage had gone missing following a Caribbean cruise. Not only was the claim fake, but she had already been refunded for many of the items after informing the online retailers that they had never been delivered.
- Finally, a fraudster was ordered to pay back the £58,000 in compensation after claiming twice for the same car accident to the same insurer under two different names. He was also sentenced to 22 months in prison suspended for 18 months.
Mark Allen, the ABI’s Chief Fraud and Financial Crime Officer, said: “Insurers continue to work hard to pay legitimate claims as soon as possible. With many households battling the cost of living crisis, more than ever honest customers rightly expect there to be no let-up in the industry’s clamp down on insurance fraud, the costs of which end up being absorbed in the premiums paid by all customers. The fall in reported insurance fraud reflects the industry’s sustained counter fraud investment and collaborative approach, but no one can lower their guard against the cheats.
“Fraudsters thrive in hard times, preying on the vulnerable. So we urge people to be vigilant to the threat of financial scams, including those carried out online. The golden rule is if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Anyone with suspicions should check the credentials of who they are dealing with to ensure they are genuine. If you suspect a fraudulent insurance claim you should alert the free, confidential Insurance Cheatline, run by The Insurance Fraud Bureau.”
If you suspect someone is attempting to make a fraudulent insurance claim you can report your suspicions to the Insurance Cheatline via: insurancefraudbureau.org or call: 0800 422 0421.