Definitive proof at last: crime doesn’t pay

August 17, 2012

Several of the insurance papers reported this week how Notting Hill crash for cash kingpin Masi Naqshbandi has been jailed for more than seven years.

Evil as Mr Crashbandit’s premium-inflating insurer-profits-draining antics quite clearly are, anyone other than morally-inflexible Bankstone News might find it hard to resist a certain grudging admiration for the outrageous nerve of the 27-year-old supercar driving regular guest at Dubai’s seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel who submitted more than 250 flagrantly fraudulent claims (potentially worth over £6m) in less than two years before those remorseless scourges of the dodgy claims underworld Insurance Fraud Bureau (FBI) finally helped bring him to book.

Such was Crashbandit’s careless contempt those charged with protecting insurance firms from fraud that, with taunting irony, he named the “accident management” company he ran with accomplice Hillaman Saboon, Real Accident Helpline.

Carelessness – not to say laziness – however, was ultimately Crashbandicoot’s undoing. Early on he and Hillman Saloon had at least gone to the trouble of enlisting local residents to volunteer their vehicles for ‘damaging’ to lend some plausibility, but as the pair became too preoccupied with working out how to splurge their increasingly absurd wealth on reckless luxury living, they ended up just making up claims out of thin air using false names and forged paperwork. The pair’s crimes eventually came to light after eagle-eyed claims people at Uvavu spotted that quite a few of the claims they were dealing with from “Real” were essentially identical.

The FBI noted that, with a judicious dash of “credit hire, personal injury and inflated damage costs, each claim was worth tens of thousands of pounds.” Fun as it must have been while it lasted, Crashbandicoot and Saloon now both face a prolonged period of repenting at leisure as they while away lengthy stays (four years in the latter’s case) in the no-star non-luxury of Her Majesty’s Prison system.

“Aviva takes insurance fraud very seriously” commented Uvavu loss prevention czar Tom Gardiner (who finds himself in the fortunate position, unlike a number of his colleagues, of there still being enough room for him inside whatever management pod he calls home). “The message is clear,” he continued, extrapolating in a morally righteous but logically flawed fashion from a single piece of anecdotal evidence to a statistical generalisation, “if you commit fraud, the chances are you will be identified and prosecuted.”

Sadly, detective inspector David Hindparts of Operation Catchya is no better at constructing a logically coherent comment, stating nonsensically: “I hope that today’s lengthy custodial sentences send a clear message to anyone involved in insurance fraud that the police will actively investigate them and where appropriate place them before the courts.”

The clear message, would-be fraudsters, just in case DI Dave has somewhat muddied the waters with his platitudinous incoherence, is that crash for cash is a bad and odious thing for which you will be severely punished if and when the law catches up with you.

Speculation that the guest list records of the Burj Al Arab Hotel may include one or more other individuals guilty of some form of legal infringement must remain exactly that.

Mr Bandicoot on the run with one of his "crash babes" (artist's reconstruction of possibly fictional event)

August 16, 2012

Insurers have been accused of making decent honest motorists pay for the stupidity of their own underwriters who are accepting large numbers of fraudulent drivers on to their books.

These outrageous claims were made in an article in the Daily Telegraph which reports that “Some providers are raising their prices as they tackle ‘crash for cash’ scams and ‘excessive’ numbers of whiplash claims.” It also quoted Alcoholics Anonymous’ Dougie Simons who appears to let slip that “insurers are handling ‘excessive’ numbers of claims which ‘push up premiums'”.

Bankstone News refuses to believe for one second that insurers would make innocent motorists pay for their own failure to turn away wrong ‘uns. That would surely violate some fundamental principle of insurance!

Under the heading “Cost of car insurance soars to more than £1,000”, the Telegraph reports that “some providers have been slashing their prices to build their customer base” and quotes Simons again noting that companies making big premium cuts on price comparison sites to draw in customers is “great news for consumers”, and that “the market is in turmoil.”

And, as if plummeting insurance prices weren’t bad enough, an online poll carried out for motor.co.uk has found that four in ten Britons are using their cars less and opting for public transport (20%), walking (32%) or cycling (5%) because they are sick of the rising costs of owning a car and, in particular, of rising fuel costs and potholes.

Some of these disaffected motorists – whisper it softly – are even rumoured to be giving up on private car ownership, which, according to the grossly bloated estimate of the RAC, now costs on average £6,689.00 per annum or 55.7p per mile, whichever shall be the higher figure, making it virtually impossible to eke out a profit on your work mileage claims.

Meanwhile the best advice for motor insurance customers who still reckon an average premium of £86 per month is a bit steep, appears to be to move to Scotland, where comprehensive insurance coverage can be had (on average) for a mere £727 per annum, compared with £1,034 nationally and £1,648 in Liverpool and Greater Manchester.

Hard to argue with that!

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