24 people appeared in court earlier this week for their part in an enormous “crash for cash” fraud thought to be the biggest scam ever seen in the UK.
Insurance companies have been stung for £3 million in the plot that concerns personal injury compensation payouts and other costs relating to car accidents.
In total, 32 people have been charged in connection with the scam, including the 19 men and five women who appeared before Derwentside magistrates court on Wednesday. The 24 were bailed to appear on May 6th at Newcastle Crown Court. Further inquiries are still ongoing into the role played in the fraud by another 16 people.
The biggest losers from this type of fraud are the motorists who have seen their car insurance premiums increase by a massive 40% in the last 12 months. Despite a drop in the number of RTAs, there has been a 42% rise in the number of personal injury claims against motor insurers in the last 10 years. Insurers now claim that 50% of their claims costs relate to personal injury cases.
Some personal injury solicitors have been accused of “ambulance chasing” and it would appear that there are various members of the general public who are more than willing to make fraudulent claims. Staging car accidents and ramming other motorists were virtually unheard of crimes a decade ago but they are becoming more commonplace now.
Hopefully the government’s plan to put paid to the no win, no fee system will go some way towards stamping out this illegal behaviour.