There are many forms of fraudulent personal insurance claim. They can range from claimants exaggerating their injuries and loss of earnings following a personal injury to crash for cash fraud rings submitting multiple claims for tens of thousands of pounds every single week. One of the most common areas for fraudulent claims is car accidents or road traffic accidents; typically referred to as crash for cash scams. Crash for cash scams involve fraudsters engineering an accident and then claiming that the innocent driver was at fault and the scam can be extremely complex and difficult to defend.
Crash for cash scams are on the increase despite the efforts of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). The IFB is a not for profit group that was established by insurers with the remit of tackling insurance fraud and they tend to deal with crash for cash scams as well as other forms of personal insurance fraud. They have grown, since their inception in 2006, to include insurers that are responsible for more than 95% of policies as well as local authorities, the police, and a number of organisations and groups.
One form of fraudulent personal insurance claim involves the claimant exaggerating the extent or type of their injuries. This is common following road traffic accidents, or car accidents. The more serious the injury, the greater the compensation award because the claimant is not only able to claim for their physical injuries but they are also able to claim for loss of earnings that are caused by their inability to go to work.
It is not only insurance fraud rings that commit this type of fraudulent personal insurance claim. Otherwise law abiding and honest people take advantage of a situation to try and claim more money than they are owed. Exaggerating a claim, or inventing injuries, is still fraud and it is still a crime.
More complex cases see fraudsters not only exaggerating claims but engineering accidents. Removing brake lights and then slamming brakes on in front of an unwitting driver can easily cause an accident and such cases are usually found in favour of the driver at the front unless it can be proven that their brake lights were not working properly at the time of the accident. Insurance companies will rarely contest these cases because the cost of doing so compared to the number of successful claims is disproportionate.
There are other forms of personal injury cases that can also lead to fraudulent cases. Slips and trips, and accidents at work are some of the more common types of personal injury insurance claim and while fraudsters may believe that nobody suffers as a result, insurance premiums are pushed up as a result of these claims. What’s more, somebody has to pay the compensation that is due.
The IFB operates an insurance fraud cheatline which enables anybody to call up and report what they believe to be a fraudulent claim. In the case of crash for cash scams this may lead to investigation and even prosecution so that the innocent driver can prove their innocence and not be held liable for the incident.
Insurance is a vital part of our everyday lives. Many people have insurance policies for cars, their home and contents, and their life as well as specific insurance policies for gadgets and home electronics and electrical items. Insurance fraud can be committed against any of these policies but the most common form of fraudulent personal injury claim follows road traffic accidents and car crashes. As well as individuals looking to claim extra money following a genuine accident, there are fraudsters that intentionally contrive an accident in order to be able to submit fraudulent claims.