Females and under-35s targeted by fraudsters as they are less likely to challenge insurance claim
More than 300,000 car accidents have been staged in the past five years, according to research by LV= car insurance.
More than 30,000 people have been a victim of a ‘slam-on’ scam in the past years where the driver in front slammed on their brakes for no apparent reason causing them to crash.
And one in 30 (3%) drivers believe they were involved in a ‘flash for cash’ scam in 2013.
LV=’s claims crime prevention team said the most common types of stage accidents are ‘slam ons’, ‘flash for cash’ accidents and ‘full-car smash’ scams.
LV= car insurance managing director John O’Roarke said: “Every year there are tens of thousands of staged accidents that are putting the safety of innocent motorists at risk.
“Fraud is not a victimless crime and the cost of paying fraudulent claims drives up the cost of car insurance for all. LV= takes a hard line on fraud, investigates all suspicious claims and pushes for the toughest sentences for those who are prosecuted.”
Females and under-35s are the biggest targets because the fraudsters believe they are less likely to challenge the insurance claim.
The LV= research showed that almost two-thirds (65%) of victims were female and 59% were aged 34 or younger.
The insurer has also seen a significant increase in fraudsters exaggerating the circumstances of an accident in an attempt to gain a higher payout.
One in three drivers who have been involved in an accident in the past two years say the other party tried to claim compensation for injuries to passengers who weren’t in the vehicle at the time or they exaggerated the circumstances of the accident.
In one case an LV= customer was returning home when he found a vehicle blocking the entrance to his road.
He sounded his horn to alert the other driver to move, but instead the driver got out of his vehicle and approached the insured and started to assault him, causing the insured to slip off the brake pedal and accidentally drive into the back of the vehicle.
Two days after the accident, the third party tried to claim he had a whiplash injury when he was not in his vehicle at the time of impact. The claim was challenged by LV=’s fraud team and the driver was convicted for fraud by misrepresentation.