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According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Key Facts 2016, insurance companies paid out £28.6m per day in motor claims, £21.2m of which was for domestic claims. The average bodily injury claim was for £10,955. The video below shows two fraudsters trying to fake an injury by pretending one was hit by another motorist. What they don’t realise is that the car has a dashcam recording the whole scheme.
According to the ABI, in 2015, there were over 70,000 fraudulent motor claims. The total of these was valued at over £800m. With incidents like this becoming more and more common, it seems worthwhile to outline some of the more common scams that fraudsters are trying to get away with and practical advice on how to best avoid them.
The Staged Accident
Go back and re-watch the video above for an example of a staged accident. Staged accidents can also occur when a friendly driver who has the right of way waves you through into traffic only to ram into your car. They will deny giving you permission and as they have right of way, you will be liable. There are a number of staged accident scams to watch out for. Be aware of other drivers around you.
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By far, the most common motor claim is staged rear-ending. Also known as crash for cash or swoop and squat, this scam can also be dangerous. In this scam, the fraudster will slow down or come to stop in busy traffic, at an intersection or on a ramp and swerve in front of the victim. This causes the victim to crash into the scam artist from behind. In almost every jurisdiction, the fault of rear-ending a car falls on the rear driver’s shoulders The fraudster may also add to the insurance claim but claiming neck and/or back injuries.
To stop this scam from happening, dont drive to close to other motorists and leave plenty of space for cars to stop quickly. Having a dashcam would help as you can provide video evidence.
Fake Injury Claims
These can happen with any type of road accident. Fraudsters will immediately report back pain, whiplash and a host of other injuries. The scam artist may look to go to a hospital to help validate the bogus insurance claim. Whiplash and phantom pains are hard to detect on X-ray which makes this type of scam difficult to defend against. After a crash, keep an eye on the way the person acts. Always take photos of the damaged cars. Proof of small scratches and/or dents from a minor accident may help you in the insurance claim.
Also known as the phantom victim, in this scam, a fraudster will try submit additional claims for people who were not in the vehicle at the time of an accident. The fake victims will have a variety of injuries and health problems from the accident. These claims are particularly easy to file with online claim filings. Having a dashcam would help as (in some instances) it could identify the number of people in a vehicle. Always take photos of all the vehicles involved as well as the general scene.
Have you been the victim of an insurance scam?
Were you the victim of an insurance scam or insurance fraud? If possible, please let us know the details in the comment box below.