The increase in these claims stem from roads into Scotland, where the UK’s whiplash reform regulation does not apply, says the insurer

Personal injury claims in Scotland that are linked to crash for cash incidents increased by 60% between 2021 and 2022, according to LV= General Insurance (LV=GI).

Crash for cash events refer to an induced incident where fraudsters target innocent motorists on the road to become the at fault driver in an insurance claim – this can happen by an individual deliberately slamming on their car brakes to ensure the vehicle behind crashes into them, for example.

LV=GI believes the rise in crash for crash-related personal injury claims can be linked to the introduction of UK government’s whiplash reform in May 2021 for England and Wales, which included the publication of a tariff table to determine compensation amounts for soft tissue or whiplash injuries. These amounts are lower than prior compensation brackets.

The insurer added, however, that these new rules do not apply in Scotland. The M6 route into Scotland has, therefore, become a hotspot for crash for cash criminals.

Matt Crabtree, head of fraud strategy at LV=GI, said that “insurance fraud is evolving all the time, with fraudsters continuing to find ways to target innocent motorists for their own financial gain”.

He explained that this type of manipulated collision is not only an “extremely dangerous crime”, but it can also have “severe consequences [for] victims, including life changing injuries and fatalities”.

LV=GI’s findings are based on the totality of its personal injury claims during the past year. 

Claims ‘menace’

Despite the threat crash for cash scams pose, there is a lack of awareness among UK consumers.

For example, according to a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of LV=GI between 19 and 25 August 2021, only 47% of residents in Scotland are familiar with crash for cash fraud.

The survey sample included 171 adults in Scotland.

Areas that fraudsters are targeting for crash for cash crimes that fork off the M6 include the A70, A74, A75, A76 and M74. These types of accidents have also been identified in the Greater Glasgow area.

LV=GI added that it is aware of fraudsters having multiple accidents in the same vehicles but using different identities. One car, for example, was found to have caused a second accident just 12 days after its first attempt.

Alastair Ross, head of public policy for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at the ABI, said that “crash for cash criminals are a menace” and the amounts they fraudulently claim can be “huge and impact on the motor premiums paid by honest motorists”.

LV=GI said it was “committed” to tackling the problem “at the source” alongside local police forces, as well as working to educate consumers.