Motor insurance fraud up six per cent in 2019

There were 58,000 fraudulent motor insurance claims in 2019, a rise of six per cent on 2018’s figures.

Data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows this drove a five per cent increase in overall fraudulent claims, with 107,000 registered in the year.

Motor insurance fraud remained the most common type, though the total value of £605 million was actually lower than 2018.

Around 75 per cent of these claims contained a personal injury element, which the ABI says could be because personal injury reforms are being introduced in April 2021.

Mark Allen, manager of fraud and financial crime at ABI, said: “The industry makes no apology for its relentless pursuit of insurance cheats, to protect genuine customers, who end up footing the bill through their insurance premiums. Insurers will not hesitate to ensure that fraudsters seeking to profit at the misery and expense of others will suffer severe and long-lasting consequences.

“Insurers know that the Coronavirus crisis has led to financial hardship for some, and with scammers always preying on people’s anxieties, now it is especially important for consumers to be on their guard, for scams like being approached by someone offering cheap motor insurance. The golden rule is never act in haste – if a deal is too good to be true, then it probably is.”

The ABI shared specific cases caught by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, such as a man described by a judge as ‘profoundly dishonest’. He was jailed for 2.5 years for tampering with documentation following a crash to claim for pre-existing damage.

A police officer was convicted of motor fraud valued at £10,000 after being caught by his own dashcam footage. It showed the debris that fell from a passing van that was alleged to have caused him injury was polystyrene.

Finally, a couple were convicted following a series of claims totalling £50,000, which included inventing crashes to claim for injury and damage, as well as making up passengers in the crashes to get extra money.