Industry detected more than 180,000 false applications in 2013, says trade body

The insurance industry detected 180,675 fraudulent applications for motor insurance in 2013, according to the ABI.

This is equivalent to 495 fraudulent applications a day, or nearly 3,500 each week.

Cases included applicants lying about or failing to disclose key details such as previous claims or motor convictions.

Examples of fraudulent applications include:

  • A motorist with a poor credit rating who tried to use an alias to buy motor cover.
  • An applicant who failed to disclose four previous claims and an unspent motoring conviction that had led to a three-year prison sentence.
  • A motorist who had attempted to alter his driving licence to remove driving convictions.

ABI assistant director and head of fraud Aidan Kerr said:

“While insurers know that innocent mistakes and oversights happen, they are also aware that some people think that being less than honest is the way to get cheaper cover, when the way to get the best deal is to play it straight with the insurer.

“Industry initiatives, such as the Insurance Fraud Register and the soon-to-be-available MyLicence initiative that will address non-disclosure of motoring offences, will make it harder than ever to deceive to try and get cheaper motor cover.

Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) director Ben Fletcher added: “The fact is, there are chancers who take a punt and then there are those who deliberately provide false information at the stage of applying for an insurance policy. Both undermine the underwriting process and have consequences for honest customers. The IFB is committed to supporting the industry focusing on the deliberate and systematic fraudsters, using the vast range of data at our fingertips to help insurers take action.”

Comparable figures for 2012 are not available as this is the first time the association has collected data on fraudulent applications.