Survey: Fraud means higher premiums
Fraudulent home insurance claims are costing honest policyholders around £13 a year in higher premiums, research indicates.
Insurer Axa said it had seen a rising trend in recent years for people to submit exaggerated claims under their home insurance, with one in three insurance brokers also saying they thought the problem was worse than it was a year ago.
Research carried out for the group found that 8% of people admitted they had inflated a home insurance claim, exaggerating the value of their belongings by an average of £2,898.
A further 36% of consumers said they would consider inflating a claim if they made one, with 47% of people saying they either thought it was "fair game" to do this, or "not too bad".
One in 10 consumers said they thought it was all right to exaggerate a claim as everyone did it, with a further 6% saying they thought insurance companies could afford it.
People are most likely to exaggerate the value of a television, with fraudulent claims on TVs often spiking before big events such as the Football World Cup.
Other common scams include making a claim for a designer watch, which was actually a counterfeit one bought abroad, claiming for a freezer full of expensive food, and inflating claims for cash that was stolen following a burglary.
James Barclay, home underwriting manager at Axa, said: "Exaggerated claims have always been an issue for insurers but over the last few years there has been a marked increase. Generally, people see it as a victimless crime but ultimately, honest policyholders foot the bill as insurers have to pass on the cost to their customers.
"There are various measures we can use to check on claims and, ultimately, people risk having the whole claim turned down if they submit fraudulent details. But we are keen to try to educate consumers that being honest will keep premiums down for everyone in the long run."
YouGov questioned 56 insurance brokers in March and OnePoll questioned 2,000 consumers in February.