The investigation, which used telematics data, thwarted a vehicle damage claim for almost £88,000

An investigation, supported by telematics data, has discovered how a fraudster attempted to inflate the value of a claim by hitting their car with a hammer.

Initially, accident reports provided by the policyholder and the claimant, a driver of a BMW, appeared to match the data recorded by the telematics device.

The investigation was carried out by Insurethebox, a brand of Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Europe (the ANDIE Group).

However, investigations began when Insurethebox saw that the severity and nature of the damage to the BMW did not match the crash data recorded by the telematics device in the policyholder’s Hyundai Coupe.

Further investigations identified crash alerts after the accident had allegedly taken place, suggesting the Hyundai was being used to increase the scale of damage to the BMW.

In fact, the BMW had been subjected to a series of deliberate collisions in a separate location after the accident, and forensic investigations also identified that the BMW had been hit at least 5 times with a hammer to increase the value of the claim. 

Insurethebox uncovered the following information:

  • · The policyholder had been persuaded to drive into the BMW by her passenger, causing only minimal damage to both vehicles. The passenger then called a friend to take the policyholder home. She was told not to worry; a recovery truck would deliver the car back the next day. However, when her vehicle was returned to her the following day it had suffered substantial damage.
  • · The policyholder’s vehicle was subject to two further crashes later that evening, with both those subsequent alerts being of significantly greater magnitude than the first.
  • · The BMW had damage unrelated to the initial impact and which was more consistent with it being damaged prior to the first event, also with at least one subsequent impact with an object colliding in a different direction to the first impact, as well as 5 or 6 distinct hammer blows.

The Judge concluded that the claim was fraudulent and that the Claimant was clearly a conspirator in that fraud. The Policyholder did not attend court, but the Judge accepted her written evidence as it was corroborated by both the telematics and the engineering evidence, both of which he readily accepted.

As a result, Insurethebox thwarted the damage claim for £87,921 -including £79,114 in credit hire costs- and recovered over £70,000 in legal costs.

Adrian Steele, head of claims and reinsurance Europe for ANDIE said: “It is quite unusual for a Judge to accept written evidence which has not been tested in cross-examination, but the telematics and engineering evidence clearly verified the Policyholder’s written confession and that was satisfactory for the Judge. This case once again demonstrates the role telematics data is playing in our claims investigations, providing a valuable piece in the jigsaw when we are working to understand the full picture of a claim. It also underlines the claims expertise we have in our business, bringing together disparate pieces of information to see where anomalies are occurring which give rise to deeper investigation.”