CITY NAMED ‘ CRASH FOR CASH’ HOTSPOT
Warning as more fraudsters target motorists
COVENTRY has been named as one of the country’s hotspots for “crash for cash” incidents which see fraudsters make claims for fake or staged crashes.
The city moved in to the top ten crash for cash locations last year, with Birmingham taking the top spot, according to insurers Aviva.
They detected more than 3,000 false claims nationally - or one every three hours.
The figures include induced accidents where drivers deliberately target innocent motorists to claim whiplash compensation, as well as staged accidents, when two dam- aged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident.
They declined to give out specific figures for how many incidents took place in Coventry last year.
Aviva said induced accident numbers remain “worryingly” close to record levels seen in 2014, with the number of cases falling by just two per cent in 2015.
Meanwhile, there has been a dramatic 40 per cent yearon- year fall in staged accidents, which the insurer says is partly down to measures put in place to make it harder for fraudsters to take out a policy with the insurer in the first place.
One in nine whiplash claims submitted to Aviva is tainted by fraud, the insurer said, and they currently have more than 17,000 suspicious whiplash claims under investigation, with 4,000 motor injury claims linked to known fraud rings.
Tom Gardiner, head of fraud at Aviva, said: “Induced accidents now account for nearly half of all organised motor fraud we detect.
“Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at risk.
“It is also a significant drain on scarce public resources such as ambulance, police and A& E time, all of which are wasted on these entirely bogus claims. However, as our figures show, we are getting better at detecting, declining and prosecuting these claims - but urgent reform is needed to remove the root cause of the problem, which is easy access to compensation and profits. We urge motorists to remain alert to induced accidents, especially in those areas where we know this is a problem.”