By Chris Kidd • 30 September 2020 • 8:00
Drivers are being warned by insurance companies and police that more people are expected to start crashing their cars into you on purpose. Both insurance providers and police have issued a stark warning that the number of people looking for “easy money” by intentionally crashing cars to make a claim is set to rise as COVID-19 bites
Police are now reporting crimes ranging from fake insurance policies, offered to motorists struggling to make ends meet, to in the worst cases dangerous driving- that is designed to create crashes to receive bogus payments from. A massive rise in fictitious claims has also been witnesses with millions claimed for stolen jewellery or valuable items they were later proven in some cases never to have been in the vehicle in the in the first place.
Insurance Fraud Bureau director, Ben Fletcher, said, quote: “With Covid-19 causing so many people to lose out financially it sadly means there are more opportunities for insurance scammers to exploit the vulnerable. These fraudsters don’t care who suffer – from the elderly to key workers, we’ve seen them get targeted.”
At least one fraudulent claim a minute is being made in the UK, costing insurance companies AND honest customers more than €3.6b (£3 billion a year).
A fraud and financial crime manager at Association of British Insurers, Mark Allen, said, quote: “While the Coronavirus crisis has led to financial hardship for many, no one should think that committing an insurance fraud is a path to easy money. From getting a criminal record and possibly a jail sentence, to finding future insurance and other vital financial products like mortgages and loans, much harder to obtain and more expensive, the consequences of committing fraud will be severe and long-lasting.”
The worst type of fraud- ‘Crash for Cash’
This type of fraud is the one that worries police the most. It normally involves an unscrupulous group of people that organise and meticulously plan what could end up resulting in the death or at least serious harm to some un-suspecting driver. A source who works at a major UK insurance company revealed that these ‘Crash for Cash’ claims are increasing at an alarming rate and it will only be ‘when’ not ‘if’ someone dies as a result.
The source said: “A ‘shunt from the back’ has, in the past, resulted in serious ‘life-changing’ injuries to passengers and drivers. Side collisions can be fatal- windscreen glass hurtling through the passenger compartment of a car after a head-on crash can cause untold damage to a person’s face. Some clients of ours have never recovered from the trauma and have actually being stopped from driving forever by their fears.”
A national campaign, called “Stop the Scams”, has been launched by the insurance industry in an effort to root out the criminals and bring an end to these costly frauds.
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Chris has spent a colourful and varied international career in the Arts followed by a substantial career in Education.
Having moved to Spain in 2019 for a different pace and quality of life with his fiancé, he has now taken up a new and exciting role working with the online department of Euro Weekly News.
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