Belfast Telegraph

Insurers detect 2,500 fraudulent insurance claims a week

More than 130,000 fraudulent claims were detected during 2015, valued at £1.3 billion.
More than 130,000 fraudulent claims were detected during 2015, valued at £1.3 billion.

Around 2,500 fraudulent insurance claims worth £25 million collectively are being foiled every week, according to an industry body.

More than 130,000 fraudulent claims were detected during 2015, marking a 6% increase on 2014, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said. These frauds were valued at £1.3 billion in total.

There has been a particular increase in dishonest "slip and trip" claims being thwarted. Some 26,900 dishonest liability insurance claims, including slip and trip claims, were detected in 2015, marking a 36% increase on the previous year.

The ABI said the upswing reflects the industry's focus on an area that has been increasingly targeted by fraudsters.

Dishonest motor claims remained the most common frauds, with 70,000 fraudulent claims detected last year .

In one case highlighted by the ABI, a man was convicted of staging fake road accidents in his ice cream van. Had he been successful he would have pocketed around £100,000, the ABI said.

In another case, a policyholder had claimed for a wedding ring that she said had been lost - supplying a photo of the ring that was found to have been taken the day after the alleged loss had happened.

In some cases, claimants have been caught out by CCTV cameras.

In another case highlighted by the body, a chef claimed for injuries following an alleged fall on a wet canteen floor. The ABI said CCTV footage showed her deliberately staging the fall.

The ABI also said a man had claimed £5,000 in compensation for neck, back and arm injuries he said he had suffered following a vehicle collision in a retail car park. But CCTV footage from the retailer showed that the man was not in his car at the time.

James Dalton, the ABI's director, general insurance policy, said: "Insurance cheats do not lack nerve or ingenuity, which is why there will be no let-up in the industry's commitment to protect honest customers.

"The chances of getting caught have never been greater, and the consequences, such as a prison sentence and difficulty in getting future insurance and other financial products, have never been more severe and long-lasting."