Motorists ‘put at risk’ by induced accident fraudsters
Leeds and Bradford have been named as two of the ten worst areas in the UK for cash for crash incidents, as data published this week shows such claims are being made every three hours.
Aviva, the UK’s leading insurer, detected more than 3,000 organised claimants last year.
Leeds was named as the fourth most prevalent location, up one position from fifth in 2014, whilst Bradford also rises two places to seventh.
The number of induced accidents (where fraudsters deliberately target innocent motorists to cause accidents in order to claim whiplash compensation) remained worryingly close to 2014’s record levels, dropping just two per cent in 2015, according to figures from Aviva.
Conversely, the number of ‘staged’ (when two damaged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident) and bogus accidents detected by Aviva fell by 40 per cent, as tougher fraud prevention tools at the point of sale have stopped fraudsters.
Tom Gardiner, Head of Fraud, Aviva, said, “We remain very concerned that fraudsters continue to put their own greed ahead of innocent motorists’ safety. Our figures show induced accidents now account for nearly half of all organised motor fraud we detect.
“Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at risk. It is also a significant drain on scarce public resources such as ambulance, police and A&E time, all of which are wasted on these entirely bogus claims. The number of whiplash claims is a problem unique to the UK and needs urgent reform.
“We support the proposals outlined by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, which included Aviva’s call for removing compensation from minor, short-term injuries. We believe this will end the gravy train for fraudsters, and we have pledged to pass 100% of the savings from the reforms on to our customers.”
Motor fraud remains the largest source of fraud Aviva detects, representing 60 per cent of all claims fraud with a value of £58m.
One-in-nine whiplash claims submitted to Aviva is tainted by fraud, and Aviva has more than 17,000 suspicious whiplash claims under investigation, with 4,000 motor injury claims linked to known fraud rings.
Birmingham cemented its position as the nation’s crash for cash capital in 2015 by increasing its share of these claims from 19 per cent in 2014 to 25 per cent - one in four - last year.
In fact, Aviva detected more induced accidents in Birmingham than the rest of the ‘Top 10’ locations combined.