November 22, 2012

Almost 10% of Brits would be up for a bit of crash for cash fraudery – and more than half of us believe there’s little chance of getting caught. That’s according to research from Ipsos MORI published this week.

But David Niven, Chairman of the Insurance Freud Bureau (FBI) has been quick to pooh pooh the idea that motor insurance fraud is a low-risk way to earn extra cash. “Crash for Cash fraudsters are being caught and jailed every week,” he insists, adding that “the public need to know that the risk far outweighs any potential reward.”

Mr Niven may be over-egging things a tad by suggesting – with the words ‘any potential’ – that the whole idea that there is some kind of financial reward to be had from C4C fraud could be just a myth. He is surely on solid ground, though, in suggesting that the risks far outweigh the rewards. After all, several hundred individuals have been nabbed to date and sentenced to anything from a few months to several years, whereas the fraudsters walk away with less than half a billion pounds a year. It’s hard to see why they even bother.

But now insurance companies are getting tough on motor PI fraud by putting out lots of PR about all the different ways of doing C4C and how premiums must rise to pay for all the dodgy claims they are settling. And it can only be a matter of time before the fraudsters run out of willing volunteers: just 1 in 12 people said they’d be prepared to do a bit of C4C, which equates to a volunteer pool of little more than five million people.

In its freshly published report “Crash for Cash for fun and profit”, the FBI says it reckons one in seven personal injury claims (around 70,000 a year) is linked to organised fraud.

This only goes to show, the Motor Accident Solicitors Massive was quick to note this week, that “the vast majority of whiplash claims are legitimate”, and with motor PI claims down by 25,000 last year, it’s really a simple question of shutting down the “40 or so” criminal gangs who are the one bad apple in the whiplash barrel and all will be well in the garden. Motor Accident spokesperson Bud Craigsworth said the Massive “looks forward to working with” the FBI and the ABI to sort this thing out once and for all.

At which point, motor insurance premiums will come down by £40 a year and everyone will be happy.


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