The insurance industry: fraud on both sides?

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 DAYS ENDING 4 DEC 2013:

It’s not necessarily news that there are fraudulent car insurance claims all the time, but are car insurance companies themselves getting in on the act?

It’s not surprising this week that there was yet another motor car insurance fraud ring broken up by London police. The price tag might be rather high, what with almost £1 million worth of cars being seized – but it’s just the same old tune with different words if you ask me: a car hire firm was passing along cars that weren’t insured properly to help wanted criminals slip through the cracks as they went about their business of money laundering.

In fact, the ring of scammers were using a loophole in the insurance industry by insuring the cars through fleet insurance. Ingenious but truly nothing new – unlike this next news story that emerged from Northern Ireland: apparently Axa is trying to fob off replica car parts on their customers in the event of an accident that requires repair.

Replica car parts – aftermarket parts that aren’t made by the original equipment manufacturer but by some third-party instead – are almost universally cheaper than the real deal, which is why Axa has been pushing for these so hard lately. Of course, these non-OEM parts are more often than not utter and complete rubbish, as they don’t hold up nearly as well as the original, genuine article.

This doesn’t seem to be bothering Axa though. In fact, it’s been bothering mechanics and car repair specialists at garages across NI in an effort to convince them to use the replica parts. These mechanics have of course said that they would have to check with the car owner first, and each time Axa has suspiciously dropped their request. It’s almost as if the insurer doesn’t want their customers to know they’re trying to short-change them. Hmm, I wonder why not?

It’s pretty horrid behaviour on Axa’s part, I won’t deny this. A little more skullduggery on their part and I would think this almost approaches a level of secrecy that could even be qualified as fraudulent, especially if they’re so keen to not tell their customers what’s going on. Oh well, at least we know where not to go if we’re looking for the best car insurance going forward, eh?

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