Criminals putting one over on the nation’s car insurance companies to the tune of £5 million in fraudulent motor car insurance claims have been stopped cold by a new fraud-busting investigative unit, experts say.
Car insurance rates are around £44 higher for the average motorist due to the costs associated with criminal motor claims activity, according to the Insurance Fraud Bureau, with £350 million in claims being paid out to undetected fraudulent claims every year.
However, thanks to an investigation in 2006 that exposed how organised groups of criminals were engaged in ‘crash for cash’ scams by deliberately pranging lorries, nearly 5,000 cases are now being reopened in the wake of a court case that uncovered huge levels of fraudulent activity that is helping to make discount car insurance a thing of the past.
However, thanks to a new investigative group put together by Accident Exchange, £5 million in fraudulent claims were uncovered last year by their Asset Protection Unit. The investigators, comprised of insurance experts and former law enforcement officers, discovered that the credit hire firm Autofocus, which went into administration in 2010, had been operating a massive insurance con, with the Court of Appeal being told by Lord Justice Aikens last month that evidence exists to suggest a ‘systematic’ level of fraud.
In the wake of the investigation, Accident Exchange has decided to re-open 5,000 cases in which Autofocus had been involved, according to Steve Evans, chief executive for the company. Mr Evans praised the Asset Protection Unit, remarking on the incredible nature of its success rate and the sizable dent it had made in the mountain of fraud perpetrated by individual perpetrators and organised groups of criminals alike.