Recent data compiled by leading insurance company, Aviva, revealed a 51% increase in fraudulent claims since last year.
Aviva identified in excess of 800 ‘induced incidents’ in 2013 alone. Though the number of contrived accidents appears perturbing in its own right, they have led to roughly 2200 fraudulent claims for personal injury and 4000 other motor injury claims with underlying deceptive motives. Totalling at more than £10million, these incidents together comprise the highest cumulative levels ever uncovered by the insurer.
Commonly, the accidents are purposefully implemented by gangs and petty crime organisations seeking a quick fix, focusing on the seemingly innocuous claim for whiplash compensation. However, the growing mistrust held by insurers, regarding whiplash claims, has inspired criminals to construct scams more elaborately; as such their claims can rest on more substantial evidence. These polished rackets could include unwitting members of the public who are duped into believing they are at fault for what is in fact a ruse.
Warnings are being issued convey the reality of the evolving nature of car insurance scams upon the public, with Aviva going as far as claiming that motorists have a higher risk of being killed as a direct result of the perpetrators’ counterfeit agendas.
‘Fraudsters are prepared to put the safety of innocent motorists’ and their families and passengers at risk for their own personal gain.’
Furthermore, Aviva have argued that taxpayerís money is being spent on enhancing the quality of public provision, only to subsidise an emergency service which caters for numerous hoax initiators.
This has been cited as being a gross betrayal of the core values of society and has been bemoaned by senior figures in the insurance world. Additionally, the practice has been heavily scrutinised for forcing straightforward, earnest motorists bear the brunt of these unjust payments, as motor insurance companies raise premiums so as not to record significant losses.
Tom Gardiner, head of claims fraud at Aviva, said:
“Fraudulent accidents divert significant public resources such as police, ambulances, emergency services and court time away from real need.”
It would follow that radical measures are needed to deal with these ‘induced incidents’ firmly, taking into account both the fraudulent pursuit of extra cash and the lack of regard for state-funded services.
Clamour for tougher sanctions has risen following Aviva’s recent data and given the prospective physical harm unsuspecting motorists face, coupled with the abuse of public services, stronger sentences are seen to be necessary to combat the blooming threat of car insurance scam artists.
These sentences, Aviva argue, would ‘help to deter would-be fraudsters and help to keep roads safer and premiums lower for customers’.
Aviva has endeavoured to stress how greatly this situation impacts upon the public, seeking to depict the extent to which they’re being swindled. This approach is reflected in a poll of more than 2000 motorists, of whom 66% support harsher sentences for conviction of motor injury insurance fraud and 87% believe jail time to be the most effective method of combating this troubling issue.
At present, the ramifications of conducting such insurance fraud are considered too lenient, with data from The Sentencing Council showing that community sentences were the most frequent ruling in the matter of motorist insurance fraud. However, the exponentially growing number of ‘induced incidents’ prove this to be an inadequate method of prevent future fraud.
Aviva says that the number of potentially fraudulent accidents is most probably much greater than the ones already discovered and thus, greater action is needed to tackle this sinister, germinating threat.