Motor insurer LV= has conducted research that suggests a record number of people are staging car accidents in a bid to claim personal injury compensation. More than 33% of those surveyed said they paid out £2,000 or more through their insurance policy for dubious accident claims.
The insurer questioned motorists who have been involved in an accident over the past two years and discovered that more than 5% of them thought they were a victim of “crash-for-cash” scams.
Rear ending was cited as the most commonly used technique by fraudsters but 24% of respondents said they had been a victim when the perpetrator signalled for them to merge into the traffic and then crashed into them and another 17% said side-swiping was to blame for their accident.
24% of the motorists questioned thought unscrupulous drivers had exaggerated their insurance claim to gain extra compensation. Of these, 37% said the fraudsters had filed a personal injury claim even though they were unharmed. Other motorists reported that the fraudulent driver stated that he had a passenger, who went on to claim personal injury compensation, even though he was driving unaccompanied.
The current UK hot spot for crash-for-cash fraudsters is Birmingham with Bradford, East London, Liverpool and Manchester also featuring in the top 5.
The increase in these cases is bad news for motorists who end up paying higher insurance premiums. Personal injury solicitors sometimes end up inadvertently taking on these cases on a no win no fee basis and innocent motorists end up suffering.