With many different products, comes many different types of fraud. Car insurance is no exception and fraud can easily occur if you are not careful. Even though there have been measures put into place to avoid car insurance fraud, such as the introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement and Motor Insurance Database, it has been estimated that car insurance fraud is costing the industry a whopping £1 billion per annum.
Unfortunately, it is the honest drivers who will pick up the bill since fraudulent claims ultimately push up the price of annual premiums by at least £50.
In this guide, we will be explaining what exactly car insurance is and how you can avoid falling victim to it.
What is insurance fraud?
To put it in basic terms, insurance fraud is any attempt to cheat the insurance process. This could be from giving inaccurate information on a quotation to making a false claim, and it could be on insurance for a single vehicle on a standard policy or multiple ones through fleet insurance.
It is not all on the customer, however. An insurer can knowingly deny a customer a benefit which they are entitled to, this is also deemed insurance fraud.
Car insurance fraud is actually the most common form of insurance fraud and is actually the costliest as well. Unfortunately for those honest motorists out there, car insurance fraud is on the rise. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) released figures which show that the 67,000-recorded case in 2014 represented a 12% year-on-year increase.
Types of Car Insurance Fraud
If you do not disclose or if you misrepresent any information which you present in the application stage, then it will be considered fraud. Let’s say you leave out details of an accident or a claim, you don’t disclosure any points that you have got on your licence or you fail to mention any car modifications, then you have committed car insurance fraud.
If you make a mistake on your application, you will still have your insurance policy called into question by the insurer. Always read through your form carefully and avoid rushing it.
Adding what is called a ‘named’ driver is known as a great way to cut the cost of your insurance for your car. However, if you declare the named driver to be the main driver simply to bring down the costs and not because it is factual, you will be committing a type of fraud known as fronting. The reason it may bring down the price is because the other driver is deemed as less of a risk than you.
Exaggerated or made up claims
A common form of car insurance fraud is when people fabricate incidents to claim off their insurance and get cash. It may not be made up, but perhaps exaggerated. For example, someone might file a claim for personal injury, usually something like whiplash, even though they had not been hurt in the accident that they were actually involved in. This so that they can receive a larger sum of money as compensation.
This is a very terrible form of fraud. It is when a driver will deliberately cause a motor accident simply to make a claim and receive funds. This can involve two divers planning to crash and then splitting the compensation money between themselves or in very horrific cases, one driver can take it upon themselves to plan to crash with an innocent and unsuspecting motorist. It is commercial vehicles which are usually targeted in crash-for-cash fraud scams.
This type of fraud is when an accident occurs and the injury claim discloses that a number of passengers were injured as a result, when actually they were not present at the scene. In some cases, this can be part of a pre-planned crash-for-cash type situation or simply an opportunist crime in the light of a genuine accident.
This involves filing a claim for damage as part of a collision that actually never took place. A popular way of going about this is to move an already damaged car to a different spot where it looks like one has occurred to create the illusion that an accident took place. The insurer will then be responsible for paying out.