AXA said it exposed three fraudsters who staged or exaggerated traffic accidents, after proving that their evidence was fundamentally dishonest.
The three cases would have cost AXA £60,000.
In one case, AXA’s suspicions the accident had been staged seemed to be contradicted by CCTV footage of the accident. But CCTV footage from five minutes earlier saw the two vehicles unsuccessfully attempting to stage the incident.
The claimants discontinued their claim a week before trial. The Judge found the claimant to be fundamentally dishonest and awarded costs to AXA.
In a second case, AXA obtained a forensic report which showed the vehicle damage was inconsistent with the claim. AXA rejected an offer by the claimants to drop the case.
The Judge concluded that the collision had occurred but that it had involved only a very light touch. In dismissing the claim, he found the claimant to be an “opportunist” who had “exploited this minor incident to make a profit”.
The third case involved a whiplash claim made against an HGV driver insured by AXA. The incident was captured by the insured’s dashcam and recorded a light collision between the AXA customer and another, parked, HGV.
By recreating the incident, AXA was able to show that the speed of the impact would have caused the claimant’s trailer to do no more than rock gently on its suspension.
In dismissing the claim, the Judge found that claimant’s evidence was “wholly unsatisfactory … contradictory, exaggerated and embellished”.
“Although the financial and time investment made to tackle these relatively minor claims may appear to be disproportionate, AXA is committed to using all avenues open to it to tackle fraud,” said
Tom Wilson, counter fraud manager at AXA.
“Pleading fundamental dishonesty is proving to be a very effective weapon against both organised and opportunistic fraudsters and it is encouraging that the wider industry is using it to root out fraud from our industry.”