Insurance fraud is more commonplace than most people think especially because of the amount of compensation that may be involved in certain types of accident. Road traffic accidents are considered easy to engineer by fraudsters, and professional teams can make claims of tens of thousands of pounds for a single accident. Crash for cash incidents are believed to cost more than £2bn a year and add £44 to every single car insurance policy. Fraud is a crime and it is one that should be thoroughly investigated.
CRASH FOR CASH – definition – to stage or deliberately cause a road traffic collision solely for the purpose of financial gain. –
Across the UK criminal gangs are organising ‘Crash for Cash’ scams, faking or deliberately
causing thousands of ‘accidents’ every year just to submit fraudulent insurance claims.
Crash for cash is the name that is given to a very specific type of insurance fraud; one where fraudsters plan and execute a car crash that appears to be the fault of an innocent driver. Slamming brakes on in front of another driver is perhaps the simplest form of this fraud and there are those cases that are considerably more complex and require the involvement of entire groups or rings of fraudsters. Regardless of the amount of money or the number of people involved, though, crash for cash is a blight.
When one car drives into the back of another, it is generally considered to be the fault of the vehicle at the back. Drivers should give ample room to the vehicle in front and by hitting the back of another car it is usually deemed that adequate space was not given. Insurance companies and the police will not usually contest these claims because without witness accounts or proof that brake lights were damaged, it is unlikely that the driver will be found innocent.
The fraud itself can take other forms too, following the crash. The fraudster may drive their car away but still claim for the cost of having it removed. They may claim for damage that had already been done to the car previously, and they may fabricate damage to further increase the size of the claim. What’s more, they will submit claims for personal injuries not only to themselves but to passengers in the car. In some cases, there may not have even been any passengers in the car in the first place.
Protecting yourself from crash for cash scams means being vigilant and sticking to the Highway Code. Ensure you leave enough room between you and the car in front and always be wary when somebody attempts to stop and let you out. Flash for cash is becoming increasingly common and this entails the fraudster flashing you out at a junction where they have right of way. As you set off they will drive in front of you, or into you, and then deny that they flashed you out.
If you are really worried about being involved in these types of insurance fraud scam then you can invest in dashboard CCTV equipment. The camera sits on your dashboard and records everything out of the front of the vehicle. You can even add a prominent sticker to the front of your vehicle informing others that you have the camera fitted and this means that you can prevent fraudsters from using you in their scams rather than having to use the footage to prove that brake lights were not working or that the other car really did flash you out.
Crash for cash scams cost the insurance industry, the police, and individual drivers millions of pounds every single month. Ensure that you drive vigilantly and safely and, if you believe you have been involved in such an activity, then you should report it to the police, to your own insurance company, and to the Insurance Fraud Bureau who may also take up the investigation.