The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that drivers who falsify car insurance forms or claims take the industry for £5million a week, but insurers are clamping down on dishonest motorists.
In 2007, car insurance companies
paid out a total of £260million to 24,000 fraudulent customers, the ABI
has found, a 70 per cent increase during the last three years.
Such customers commit fraud in various ways, for example inaccurately describing an accident, as was the case with one driver who claimed that an accident had happened when her foot slipped off the brake, when in fact she was avenging an argument with her partner.
Other common trickery includes intentionally defrauding a car insurance
company by claiming for a theft which never occurred, such as the case of the owner of a Rolls Royce who claimed £10,000 for stolen parts which he had removed himself and stored in his garage.
Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health at ABI, said: "Insurance fraud is no victimless crime. Honest motorists pay through higher insurance premiums - an extra £40 a year on average.
"This is why insurers are ramping up their crackdown to weed out the cheats. Anyone committing insurance fraud is more likely to get caught, risks a criminal record, and will find future insurance and credit harder to obtain and more expensive."
Meanwhile for those who are genuinely trying to avoid having to make a claim on their car insurance, they would do well to avoid what swiftcover.com has determined to be the hottest car theft spots in the UK.
London is the worst place to take a car, according to the research, followed by the Midlands, the West and Yorkshire, while the most popular makes of cars for stealing include Fords, Volkswagens and Vauxhalls.
Robin Reames, claims director of swiftcover.com, warns drivers that "Whether you live in a busy town, leafy suburbs or sleepy village, always keep your car secure even for just a few minutes. It's amazing how many people leave their keys in the ignition whilst de-frosting the car, or pop into the post office leaving their car windows open. It's just an open invitation to opportunistic thieves."
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