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Insurance fraud higher than ever at 2,300 claims a week Go compare with our comparison table

Insurance fraud higher than ever at 2,300 claims a week

25 July 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Insurance providers are detecting more than 2,300 fraudulent claims every week – the highest figure on record – according to the Association of British Insurers.

The latest figures on insurance fraud from the ABI show a rise on last year, when 122,000 fraudulent claims were detected each week – worth a total value of £840million – a 14 per cent rise on 2008 figures.

Of the record high number of insurance claims – worth more than £16million – car insurance fraud accounted for the highest value, worth around £140million.

False home insurance claims were the most prevalent, totalling 62,000 bogus or exaggerated claims.

By cost, the ABI calculated that four per cent of all insurance claims were fraudulent, twice as much as five years ago.

False personal injury claims also accounted for a significant proportion of the 8,500 dishonest liability claims that were detected by insurance companies.

Some of the false claims included a fractured hand which was supposedly caused when the claimant fell over a pothole but was actually the result of punching a wall following a domestic dispute.

Another customer claimed to have sustained injuries by tripping over a loose pavement, when they were actually a result of jumping down a flight of stairs to evade security guards following a suspected case of shoplifting.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the ABI, said that theinsurance industry is doing what it can to prevent fraud and the negative effect his has on honest policyholders' premiums.

"Reducing fraud remains an ongoing battle for the insurance industry. Our honest customers rightly object to having to pay higher premiums to subsidise the fraudulent minority, which is why insurers continue to up their game in the war on the cheats."

Committing insurance fraud is a serious business, and has consequences for the fraudster as well, Mr Starling added: "Whether claiming against a third party for bogus personal injury or on their own insurance, fraudsters are more likely than ever to get caught, leading to more expensive and harder to obtain insurance and credit, and the possibility of a criminal record."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

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