Fleets warned of rise in "Crash for Cash" scams
The practice of staging deliberate car crashes to make false insurance claims cost insurers about £350m in 2009, according to the latest available figures from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and the practice is on the rise due to the tough economic times.
Peter Castle, head of customer proposition at Bluefin, said: 'Historically, crime rates have risen during times of economic difficulty and I believe this could be what we are experiencing with the recent rise in "crash for cash" scams. Spiralling living costs, rising fuel prices and redundancy are pushing people to their financial limit, and sadly some are turning to illegal methods to make ends meet.'
The Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates that around 30,000 accidents were staged last year, which is pushing up insurance premiums by an average of £44 per driver.
'Motorists need to be aware of the dangers and pay extra attention to people braking suddenly in front of them for no apparent reason, or otherwise driving erratically. Staged car accidents do not only cost honest drivers millions every year but they are potentially very dangerous so drivers need to be on the look-out for suspicious behaviour,' said Castle.
He added that more needed to be done to address the problem: 'Insurance companies are already working closely with the police to tackle the issue, however motorists can do their bit by being vigilant to unusual behavior on the road and, if they do find themselves involved in a suspected fraud, reporting the incident to their insurance company.'