Insurers uncovered over 4,000 fraudulent motor insurance policies every week in 2014, it has emerged.
Industry body the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the figures should serve as a warning to anyone thinking of trying to ‘cut corners’ to lower their premium.
According to the data, common lies told by drivers include ‘forgetting’ to declare past accidents, giving the address of a friend or relative who lives in a lower-risk area, and pretending to be the main driver when in fact it’s their son or daughter – a scam known as ‘fronting’.
The ABI’s members found 212,000 illegal insurance policies last year, equivalent to over 570 every day.
Drivers are also being warned against using ‘ghost brokers’, who sometimes operate in seemingly-legitimate ways claiming to sell cheap insurance policies that don’t actually exist.
A number of these fraudsters have been fined and jailed recently, but the drivers affected are also committing crimes by – potentially unknowingly – driving without valid insurance. Their cars could be confiscated and even crushed.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau is, at present, reportedly dealing with 26 more suspected ghost broker scams.
Mark Allen, the ABI’s Fraud and Financial Crime Manager, said: “Insurers recognise that innocent mistakes and oversights happen. But anyone lying to get cheaper motor insurance, or tempted by cheap insurance offers without first checking that they are genuine, risks driving illegally.
“The consequences include getting a criminal record and a massive financial headache if found to be at fault for a crash. The risks are just not worth it – especially when you can shop around for the right policy at the lowest price.”