Brokers and their clients have now been issued with a new warning amid a sharp rise in the new style of crash for cash scheme

By Jon Guy 

Motor insurers have long been blighted by the rise of staged road traffic accidents, in which fraudsters will make spurious injury claims from accidents that they have engineered.

Jon Guy

Jon Guy

Forcing an innocent motorist to hit the back of a vehicle, which is often full of passengers, was seen as a lucrative scam.

However, as motorists got wise, fraudsters have turned to a more direct and dangerous scheme.

Road safety experts have warned that insurance fraudsters are now switching to two wheels before intentionally crashing into UK motorists in their thousands.

The insurance industry warned the incidents of staged accidents now costed the law-abiding public an estimated £392m a year in higher premiums.

And with scammers adapting their approach to manufacturer motoring collisions, it is feared thousands more drivers may not be aware they are being deceived.

As a result, brokers and their clients have now been issued with a new warning over the new style of crash for cash scheme.

The scam

In the latest twist on traditional crash for cash scams, swindlers on mopeds are driving head-first into unsuspecting motorists up and down the country.

A moped fraudster will usually hide out of sight around a corner and ride head-on into the victim’s vehicle, throwing their own to the ground before taking photos of the incident.

Some fraudsters will use an accomplice to either drive erratically in front to divert the victim’s suspicions or to obscure their view, making the scam easier to carry out.

These new incidents come with a human cost, causing countless injuries and more distressingly, fatalities, in the most extreme cases.

Gary Digva, sales director at automotive technology provider Road Angel, warned motorists that incidences of these scams were on the rise.

He said: “Drivers need to be aware that fraudsters are causing motoring collisions intentionally every day so should know what to look out for.

“If you are in a collision and think you may have been a victim of ‘crash for cash’, don’t confront the driver, instead record as much information as you can and inform your insurer.”

Wise words, but with the UK motor insurance sector undergoing a torrid time at present, a new and increasingly prevalent staged accident scam is the last thing underwriters and claims managers need.

It seems that small commercial vehicles are a particularly attractive target, given the likelihood of more comprehensive covers and that a member of staff will be less motivated to defend the firm’s insurers than they would if it their name is personally on the policy.