£18m in fraudulent insurance claims lodged weekly, says ABI

According to the Association of British Insurers, £18 million worth of fraudulent insurance claims are brought against insurers on a weekly basis through more than 2,500 individual instances of motor car insurance fraud.

The ABI has discovered that car insurance companies had 133,000 false claims lodged against them last year.  This figure represents a 9 per cent increase over 2009 figures and an increase of 100 per cent over the past ten years, with the total cost of these claims adding up to approximately £919 million; these costs were spread out through not just the car insurance industry but also other general insurance policies such as travel and home cover.

Some of the fraudulent claims that insurers have had to deal with was one lodged by a nightclub worker who said his back injuries were too severe for him to work, yet had been found to not only be training for a charity run but who was performing gymnastics as well.  Another non-car insurance related claim was for a misplaced engagement ring, with the fraud only being revealed when the ex-partner of the claimant said that she’d never been given a ring in the first place.

The costs to the insurance industry for tackling instances of insuance fraud amounts to approximately £2 billion annually.  This makes even a discount car insurance policy an average of £44 more expensive, research indicated, with the general insurance and health director of the ABI, Nick Starling, stating that insurers are constantly having to up their game as fraudsters are continuously looking for new ways to pull the wool over the eyes of insurance providers.

Mr Starling added that an Insurance Fraud Register will be set up nationally early next year, containing details from all known insurance fraudsters to aid law enforcement personnel and insurers identify prospective troublemakers.

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