RECORD £1.3 BILLION IN FAKE INSURANCE CLAIMS – and that’s just the ones that have been exposed!
The value of fraudulent insurance claims uncovered by insurers rose to a record £1.3 billion in 2013 – up 18 per cent on the previous year.
Figures published by the Association of British Insurers today (May 30th) reveal that:
- Insurers detected a total of 118,500 bogus or exaggerated insurance claims, equivalent to 2,279 a week. The average fraud detected across all types of insurance products was £10,813. While there was a small fall in the number of detected frauds their value, at £1.3 billion, was up 18pc on 2012.
- Fraudulent motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common, with the number of dishonest claims at 59,900 claims up 34pc on 2012 and their value at £811 million up 32pc.
- Since 2007 the value of dishonest general insurance claims detected has more than doubled, with the number detected up 30% over the same period.
- Insurance industry initiatives which are turning the screw on the cheats include:
- Investigations by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, a specialist police unit established in 2011 and dedicated to tackling insurance fraud, have so far led to 470 arrests and 85 prosecutions of insurance fraudsters.
- Calls from the public reporting suspected insurance frauds into the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s Cheatline rose by 32pc to 6,060 in 2013 over the previous year.
- The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) – created in 2006 to specifically tackle organised cross industry motor insurance scams – is currently supporting police forces and insurers investigating 110 ‘crash for cash’ scams, throughout the UK. These scams alone represent approximately £120 million of financial exposure to insurers.
Aidan Kerr, the ABI’s assistant director, head of fraud, says:
“The vast majority of customers are honest and rightly expect tough action against the fraudsters.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime, which is why the industry invests £200 million a year in fraud detection, including funding the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, and developing the Insurance Fraud Register, a central database of known insurance cheats.
“The more that is done to crackdown on the dishonest, the quicker and more effectively insurers can deal with the claims from the honest majority.
“The message is clear: never has it been harder to get away with committing insurance fraud; never have the penalties – ranging from a custodial sentence and a criminal record to difficulties in obtaining financial products in the future – been so severe.”
Examples of insurance cheats exposed include:
- Sixty people, including seven members of the same family, were convicted of a crash for cash staged accident fraud which involved over £514,000 being claimed from 25 vehicle crashes alone.
- A professional golfer who claimed £8,000 on his income protection policy for a knee injury that he said left him unable to work, was caught on camera giving golf lessons. He was ordered to do 140 hours unpaid community work.
- A bus company was forced to scrap a bus route after it was targeted by ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters.
- A woman was jailed for 22 months following a series of invented street robberies for items including laptops and designer clothes.
- A vet was jailed for two years for inventing veterinary claims totalling nearly £200,000 for treating non-existent pets.
5,000 ATTEND MOTORSPORT EVENT AS TRACK RECORD IS BROKEN -Thousands raised for St Christopher’s hospice
29 May 2014: The fifth annual Motorsport at the Palace – in association with the Ancaster Group – proved a huge success, with over 5,000 spectators passing through the gates despite Monday’s inclement weather.
The rain served only to demonstrate how popular this two-day sprint has become, among both enthusiasts and local residents, who came together to enjoy two wonderful days of motorsport-themed family fun.
Motorsport at the Palace 2014 raised over £3,500 for local charity St Christopher’s Hospice, and spectators were treated to some thrilling on-track action.
Gary Thomas, driving a Force PT, smashed the course record on Sunday with a time of 32.58 seconds, while Justin Andrews claimed Fastest Time of the Day on Monday with a time of 31.19 (on a shortened course resulting from the poor weather).
The Eco Kart races proved tremendously popular, as school children driving their own environmentally friendly go-karts competed on a dedicated track, bringing a smile to the faces of all who cheered them on.
Congratulations to St Margret’s C of E Junior School from Rainham, Kent, which eventually triumphed in the face of strong competition.
A highlight of this year’s Motorsport at the Palace saw a wonderful reunion of cars and drivers from the legendary 1971 Osram Saloon Car race held at Crystal Palace. Under the banner of the Class of ’71, the cars and drivers that contested that fierce battle lined up in grid formation along the old Terrace Straight, just as they had done 43 years ago.
Ex-racer Mike Crabtree, back behind the wheel of his Ford Escort MkI RS1600 for the first time in over four decades, appeared visibly moved by the experience, as did the sizable crowd which gathered to watch history repeat itself.
Gregor Marshall – son of Gerry Marshall who won the race that day in 1971 – represented his late father in Colin Robbins’ replica of Marshall’s Vauxhall Viva GT, while John Shoesmith completed the front row formation in the formidable Chevrolet Camaro, campaigned by Martin Thomas.
Behind them sat Julian Townsend’s pretty WRA Anglia, which raced at Crystal Palace in period, and the rare ‘Fraud’ Cortina MkII, raced by famous Australian driver Doc Merfield (and now owned by Jon Doubleday).
It was a wonderful spectacle, made all the more so as the original commentary from the ’71 race blared from the loud speakers, carrying the unmistakable voice of Murray Walker across the park like a timeless breeze. It felt like the culmination of so many years of history; a final chequered flag on a wonderful era which has come to define the splendid Crystal Palace circuit of old.
Commenting on the event, Mike Crabtree said: “It was a great weekend. The organisation was excellent and everyone was so friendly. “The Escort went well and it was terrific to be driving the car again after 43 years. I should like to thank everybody at the Sevenoaks Motor Club for a very good event.”
The organisers would also like to thanks everyone who helped make this year’s event such an enjoyable success. (Source: Motorsport at the Palace / Sevenoaks and district motor club)