Insurer appoints The Cotswold Group to focus on staged accident and exaggerated whiplash motor claims.

Ecclesiastical has appointed The Cotswold Group to provide claim investigation and surveillance services.

The specialist insurer said it made the appointment following a competitive tender process involving 21 companies.

Investigation services will include organising interviews and taking statements; visiting accident sites; and arranging surveillance.

The Cotswold Group will deal with claims from all parts of Ecclesiastical’s business, but they will particularly focus on Ecclesiastical’s motor book.

David Bonehill, Ecclesiastical's director of claims and risk services, said: "As the economic climate worsens, like every other insurer we are taking a close look at the efforts we’re making to tackle fraud. We’ve already seen a slight increase in fraudulent claims, so we’re taking action now to ensure we protect our honest customers from the additional costs fraudulent claims cost the industry.

"The Cotswold Group will give us more resources at our disposal to pursue dishonest claimants. Staged motor accidents and exaggerated whiplash claims are a widely known issue, so we’re also asking The Cotswold Group to focus on tackling these claims.”

Tom Scott, from The Cotswold Group, said: "Our strategy of intelligence-led investigation coupled with directly employed investigators sets us apart in the market and we are delighted to have been chosen by Ecclesiastical whose values we share.

"We look forward to continued success in delivering a quality service and protecting their honest policyholders against fraudulent claims."