’We hope this serves as a good example of why dishonesty simply does not pay,’ says head of motor claims fraud

Insurer Admiral and law firm Horwich Farrelly (HF) have caught a fraudster who exaggerated a claim to include tinnitus.

HF said the claimant had issued a claim that involved £4,000 worth of ear, nose and throat (ENT) therapy that had been recommended to him by an expert.

This took the total cost of the claim up to £7,800.

However, HF discovered that the claimant had not had the ENT treatment, with the case ending up in court as a result.

The judge ruled that the claimant must have known the therapy claim was false and dishonest.

With a fundamental dishonesty finding, he therefore dismissed the entire claim, including the valid elements.

”In this case we were able to prove that the c. £4,000 of ENT therapy claimed had not in fact taken place,” Graeme Mulvoy, partner at HF, said.

“Utilising section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 can lead to the claimant losing their entire award, even for the legitimate injuries, once they’re found to be fundamentally dishonest.”

Ian Price, head of motor claims fraud at Admiral, added: “We hope this serves as a good example of why dishonesty simply does not pay. It’s not worth exaggerating a legitimate claim in the hope of gaining additional monetary gain.

“We’re fully committed to paying out on genuine injury claims quickly and fairly. However, we will defend all claims we believe to be dishonest in order to protect the best interests of our customers.”

Whiplash reforms

Tinnitus is often described as ringing in the ears and has become a symptom featuring in road traffic accident claims.

HF said such claims had been on the rise since the whiplash reforms came into force in 2021.

These regulations outline the final tariff table for soft tissue or whiplash injuries and clarify that a medical report is required in order to settle a whiplash injury-related claim.

According to law firm Weightmans, the Judicial College Guidelines has a range of £6,580 to £42,730 for tinnitus in general damages alone.

“Since the whiplash reforms we’ve seen a huge increase in claims featuring additional injuries,” Mulvoy said.

”Instances of tinnitus have seen a particularly significant increase and it’s a condition which is subjective.

“However, we are confident in our strategy focused on defeating them and other non-genuine claims.”