Personal injury claims fraud plagues insurance providers

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 23 Sept 2014:

If there’s one thing that insurance providers hate to do, it’s to give away money – and when it’s because of a fraudulent personal injury claim it’s even worse.

Insurance companies are of course in the business of underwriting risk, and that’s what we pay them for; in the event of an accident beyond our control we’re indemnified for the costs that are incurred, thanks to the fact that we pay these bloodsuckers annually for such a privilege. That’s how the system is supposed to work, but insurers say that there’s so much claims fraud activity that it’s becoming a serious headache – and just when they get a handle on one avenue of fraud another one pops up!

A perfect example of this is how there has been legislative action taken to make it extremely difficult to perpetrate whiplash claims fraud, thanks to the new limits put on personal injury lawyers and claimants alike. However, scammers seem to be staying one step ahead of the game and have switched to other types of personal injury compensation claims such as industrial deafness in order to continue bilking money from these insurers.

On the one hand this makes me more than a little giddy, considering how I like to see and hear about these massive insurance companies taken down a peg by some industrious and clever criminals. On the same time these fraudsters make everything worse for the rest of us, as every pound they receive ends up having to be accounted for – and it’s through the premiums that get charged to you, me and every other honest consumer. This of course erases any speck of goodwill I might have towards these crafty bastards.

Of course it’s not just organised criminals that contribute to the fraud problem. Sometimes it’s as simple as you or I forgetting to give a new insurer full and complete information when it comes to applying for a new policy – or if you’re particularly criminally-minded it’s a deliberate omission of important information in an attempt to get cheaper cover. This isn’t just unsubstantiated grumbling on the part of insurers, either – the Association of British Insurers says that its records indicate something like 180,000 fraudulent application were submitted by prospective customers throughout 2013.

So yes, think about that the next time you consider leaving off how you’ve had a few claims on your next insurance application. Don’t be part of the problem; even if you’re not caught, you’re still making things worse for the rest of us!

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