Car insurance scams are becoming more and more popular in the UK, as unscrupulous criminals look to make a quick buck in a number of different ways. Even if you’re not directly the victim of one of these scams though, you’re being hit indirectly. This is because car insurance scams are one of the main reasons why insurance premiums have risen so dramatically over the past few years, meaning that the average motorist is paying more each and every month. But what exactly are the more common scams used in the UK?
Crash for Cash
You might have heard of “crash for cash” before, but don’t know exactly what it is. Well, it’s essentially when a motorist deliberately causes a road traffic accident, so that they can then claim from their insurance company. The key to them doing it successfully is this though: they have to make it look like the other driver’s fault. So, they sometimes slam on their brakes and let another car crash into the back of them, or might flash their headlights to give way, but then proceed anyway.
Sometimes fraudsters don’t even need a victim, as they’ll simply write off their own car and then claim that they were the victim of a hit-and-run accident. They’ll do this away from prying eyes, such as in remote countryside areas, and it’s usually really tough for insurance companies to prove that the claim is a false one.
Whiplash is incredibly difficult to diagnose, therefore doctors simply have to believe a patient when they say they’ve received it after a traffic accident. This is something that fraudsters know well, and they’ll put in a claim for this injury even after the most innocuous shunt. In fact, over 500,000 people a year claim whiplash related compensation, and this alone drives up insurance costs by nearly £100 per person.
Whiplash claims also lead onto other claims as well, with the main one being loss of earnings. They claim that their “injury” can’t possibly let them work, and that they should be compensated for these losses too. Therefore, someone can quite easily end up receiving thousands of pounds in compensation for even the smallest of accidents.
Staged Car Break-Ins/Thefts
Some incredibly brazen criminals know that it’s unusual for a car crime to be solved, and they use this to their advantage. So, they’ll deliberately smash a window on their car and claim that all manner of expensive items, such as laptops and wallets, have been stolen by the imaginary criminal. What’s more, they’ll do this away from prying eyes, so that there’s no evidence for the police to collect. As you can imagine, this can lead to huge payouts, should the fraudster claim for really expensive items.
How Do They Get Away with It?
The answer to this is simple: the insurance companies simply don’t have the means to prove that foul play was involved. If every false claim was investigated thoroughly, it would end up costing more than the fraudulent claims themselves, and therefore insurance premiums would rise even more, which isn’t what any motorist wants.
As already mentioned, it’s also sometimes impossible to prove that the fraudster was actually at fault. Take deliberate crashes for example: fraudsters know that rear-end shunts are always classed as the fault of the driver at the back, and that it’s an easy claim to make.
How to Avoid Scams
There’s nothing you can do to stop people from placing whiplash claims or staging their own car crashes, however you can protect yourself from crash for cash scenarios. Perhaps the best way to do so is to buy a dash cam, which will record all activity outside your car. It will therefore show the car in front braking heavily, and prove that it was their fault. Other than that, make sure you constantly pay attention to goings-on outside your car, and always maintain a good distance from the car in front of you.
Keep Your Car Insurance Low
With these scams adding hundreds of extra pounds onto premiums, it is now more important than ever that you try to keep insurance premiums down. The best way to do this is simple: give our friendly team a call on 01243 219300 as we compare quotes from the UK’s biggest insurance companies. By doing so, you could reduce your insurance by hundreds of pounds every single year.