There appears to have been a number of “crash for cash” incidents recently, with organised gangs stealing millions of pounds from the car insurance industry.
While some of these gangs have been brought to justice (like I reported in a recent story), there are still many criminals with a keen interest in staging these crash for cash scams, so they can then get money out of car insurance companies.
Where is the crash for cash capital you might be wondering? A recent study by car insurance experts showed that Birmingham is currently top of the table when it comes to false claims.
For example, just one insurance company alone had 750 incidents in Birmingham last year that could be filed under the “crash for cash” heading.
Not only that, but well known car insurer Aviva have recently made a statement where they estimate that around a quarter of the fraudulent claims they got in 2015 came from the Birmingham area.
Why should you care about this? Well, the main reason is because these kind of false claims are costing the car industry millions of pounds, and when this happens it’s the public that end of paying for it.
Ever wonder why your car insurance policy seems to get more expensive every year? It is because of things like this.
It wasn’t only Birmingham that was named in the study, as experts pinpointed London as a place where these cash for crash scams happen a lot, particularly North and East London.
Typically, a gang will target innocent motorists, who they crash into on purpose in order to stage the crash. It’s then a simple task of making a claim to the car insurance company, with huge repair bills, even when the damage is minimal.
We are also seeing more staged crashes where two member of the same gang, or two different gangs, get together and crash into each other.
Part of the reason why this works is because these criminals know exactly how to play the system, and ultimately, how to make it appear they need more of a payout from the insurance company than is actually required.
Some gangs even own their own network of back street repair shops, where they exaggerate damages to the car and the costs to fix it, before sending a bill to the car insurers that often total thousands of pounds.
The fact they can get away with it so easily just goes to show why so many gangs are starting to make these crash for cash scams their number one illegal activity.
In my opinion we are only going to see an end to this type of thing when car insurance companies and law enforcement get tougher.
There should be more being done by companies like Aviva when paying out money, to make sure everything is legitimate. When gangs are caught, the law should then come down hard on them with lengthy prison sentences
It really is the only way to stop it, and in the process make car insurance cheaper for the law abiding citizen.