Fraudsters gambling with the lives of UK motorists, IFB says

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 27 Nov 2012:

Those who perpetrate ‘cash for crash’ car accident claim fraud are gambling with the lives of honest motorists, according to an Insurance Fraud Bureau report.

The IFB has come down harsh on fraudsters, blaming them for massive car insurance rate hikes as the insurance industry struggles with rising personal injury claims figures stemming from road traffic accidents. Fraud instances contribute to around £400 million in costs every year to honest policyholders, says the IFB’s report, which was published earlier this week. The Bureau, which was established with the purpose of clamping down on instances of fraud, found that one out of every seven claims may be due to organised fraud.

IFB chairman, David Neave, commented on the new report’s findings, remarking that these scammers don’t just do damage to the insurance sector but every single one of its customers due to the premium increases these insurers have to push through. Paying out on these claims is highly expensive, especially since insurers are still paying the success fees of every successful claimant’s personal injury solicitor, to say nothing of the cost of endangering the lives of law-abiding drivers, since fraudsters put them at risk by purposefully causing accidents throughout the length and breadth of the UK, added Mr Neave.

The ill-gotten gains of these scams are being funneled right back into these criminal gangs, the chairman said, with the profits going towards other societal ills such as people trafficking, drug dealing, and illegal firearms. Insurance fraud is absolutely deadly serious, he added, and it is far from being what some feel is a ‘victimless’ crime.

There are around 40 police operations around the country that the IFB is coordinating at the moment in an effort to investigate and dismantle organised instances of insurance fraud. Insurers could stand to lose more than £66 million unless these operations turn out successfully for the IFB and the police.

The Motor Accident Solicitors Society has come out in support of the Bureau’s recent report, remarking that the findings confirm the Society’s suspicions, according to MASS chair Craig Budsworth. Stamping out fraud could reduce injury claims by close to 75,000 instances this year, estimated Mr Budsworth.

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