With the latest arrests on the Wirral, it's clear that organised gangs are continuing to stage car crashes as part of the national scam/insurance fraud, now worth millions.
"Crash for cash" hotspots are spread right across the country, with Bradford and Birmingham topping the 'hit list', where drivers are currently advised to be extra vigilant.
The crackdowns and prosecutions show the Police are taking these crimes seriously, but the trend continues. The latest development is "flash for cash" which is particularly tricky to prove in court as it can come down to one person’s word against another. As in all scams this not a victimless crime - the Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates circa 30,000 crash for cash incidents are now taking place every year, costing the industry around £400M and pushing all our premiums up by roughly £50 each.
Incredibly, research from a price comparison website revealed that one in twenty drivers under 35 confessed to having already staged a deliberate accident, whilst an astonishing 15% would consider doing so, to net some additional cash.
Car insurance industry research shows that the scammers use various tactics including:
Apparently the criminals particularly target younger motorists because they are less likely to kick up a fuss, or contest the claim, mainly due to their lack of experience. This is a group already encumbered by high premiums as highlighted in our previous blog.
No doubt the industry experts working hard on ways to reduce these numbers but in the meantime drivers beware!