Fake whiplash and ‘crash for cash’ cases accounted for more than 66 per cent of all detected insurance fraud cases in the UK last year, according to new data.
Conducted by insurance company Aviva, the research also found that there was a 5.4 per cent rise in detected fraud in 2017, which was worth £90 million – up by £5 million over 2016 and equivalent to £246,000 every day.
Aviva said that motor insurance fraud remains an area of “particular concern” as it amounts to two-thirds of all fraud detected, totalling £59 million. The insurer actually rejects one in eight whiplash claims that it receives, due to the suspicion they are fraudulent or suspect.
Crash for cash ploys involve drivers deliberately crashing or causing motor accidents to then make false whiplash claims.
One piece of good news is that organised motor fraud dropped in 2017 compared to the previous year, but Aviva still detected more than 3,000 claims that were under investigation for being linked to organised fraud or gang networks.
Tom Gardiner, Aviva UK Insurance head of fraud, said: “Whilst it’s good news that the number of accidents is falling, we are still detecting more fraudulent claims than before.
“Whiplash fraud continues to present the biggest threat to customers – not just in terms of pushing premiums up, but by fraudsters putting innocent motorists at the risk of real harm by deliberately causing accidents to make bogus whiplash claims.
The Civil Liability Bill is currently going through parliament and would see financial compensation for minor personal injury claims – such as whiplash – being reduced considerably. This would hopefully reduce the financial viability for fraud and bring down the overall cost of motoring insurance.
Gardiner continued: “Change is urgently needed. The proposed Civil Liability Bill will deter fraudsters from pursuing their campaign of crash for cash, simply to line their pockets. The good news in the meantime is that we are detecting, disrupting and prosecuting more fraud.”