’Turning to crime to make some quick cash is never the answer,’ says detective chief inspector

Police have warned that there has been a rise in bogus insurance claims amid cost of living pressures.

In a statement released yesterday (19 June 2023), the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (Ifed) revealed that opportunistic insurance fraud cases rose 61% year-on-year.

Figures between March 2022 and April 2023 showed motor insurance fraud was the most common type of case, accounting for 51 per cent of reports Ifed received.

Property insurance fraud was the second highest and made up 29 per cent of cases received.

Detective chief inspector Tom Hill, head of Ifed, said: “We understand that the rising cost of living has presented challenges for many people across the country – but turning to crime to make some quick cash is never the answer.

“At the very least, it can make it harder to get insurance in the future.

“Offenders can be placed on the insurance fraud register, run by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), which can prevent them from accessing essential insurance services for several years.”

’Not worth the risk’

Earlier this year, officers from Ifed investigated 18 opportunistic claims – worth a total estimated value of £216,875 – resulting in multiple search warrants, charges and arrests across the country.

The Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges against four other people suspected of fraudulent claims.

Seven interviews were conducted in connection to these investigations and several cease-and-desist notices were delivered.

Speaking about the consequences of committing insurance fraud, Jon Radford, head of intelligence, investigations and data services at the IFB, said: “When someone is added to our insurance fraud register, they can have their access to essential insurance services denied for five years and this has devastating consequences - from being unable to insure and drive a car, to being refused buildings insurance and ultimately access to a mortgage.

“Every day we’re collaborating with Ifed and our insurer members to detect and disrupt fraud networks across the country, making life harder for scammers.

”Don’t chance fraud, it’s not worth the risk.”


Examples of those caught include a 43-year-old man from south London, who submitted claims for the same television on two home insurance policies.

He was ordered to pay fine of £500 and a further £500 in court costs to the Inner London Crown Court after pleading guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation at the same court.

Meanwhile, a 52-year-old man, from Hayling Island, Hampshire, who stayed in temporary accommodation following water damage to his home, was cautioned by Ifed officers after he edited invoices from a hotel to inflate the costs shown before sending them to his insurance provider.

Mark Allen, assistant director and head of fraud and financial crime at the ABI, said: “Insurers appreciate the financial pressures that many households are facing with higher cost of living bills and will pay legitimate claims as quickly as possible.

“But making a fraudulent insurance claim to raise some cash will lead to further financial hardship.”