The Association of British Insurers has revealed that 45,000 dishonest motor insurance claims were unearthed in 2011. This equates to 865 exaggerated or bogus claims per-week, which would have cost the industry an alarming £541 million. Notable examples included the 30 men who hired a coach to take them greyhound racing, then all claimed for whiplash after a staged crash. Furthermore, 37 people were jailed after arranging 180 incidents linked to 230 claims. These fraudsters - and every other convicted of the offence- must now feature on the new Insurance Fraud Register. This should be an invaluable weapon in the battle against a crime that increases the cost of insurance for every motorist.
The Association of British Insurers' Director General, Otto Thoresen, said: “The industry makes no apologies for its zero tolerance approach to insurance fraud. Honest customers are sick of footing the bill for insurance cheats through higher insurance premiums. From the highly organised ‘crash for cash’ motor scams to the opportunistic exaggeration of a genuine claim - insurers are determined to do what it takes to protect honest customers.”
But how much fraud was unearthed last year as a percentage? The 45,000 could have represented the vast majority of false claims. But perhaps it only represented 15%. The problem is knowing for sure. Some false claims would have stuck-out like a sore thumb- but what about the slight exaggerations. Was a laptop in the boot of that stolen car, or was it safe elsewhere? And was Mr X's wallet really in the glove box when someone smashed his window? Hard to know. Of course, every claim could have been obsessively investigated. But that would have alienated honest customers and cost a fortune. Plus, of course, there is little merit in spending £500 to expose a £50 exaggeration. If only everyone was honest, ey.
By Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk
Thu, 27 Sep 2012
by Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk: 2nd Oct 2012 11:45:00
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