Fraudsters stage 300,000 car crashes in five years
The report by LV= car insurance found that 30,000 motorists have been a victim of a ‘slam-on’ scam in the past year, where the driver in front slammed on their brakes for no apparent reason causing them to crash.
One in thirty motorists were involved in a ‘flash for cash’ scam in 2013, where the fraudster flashed their headlights at the victim to let them merge into traffic, but drove ahead and crashed into the back of their vehicle.
Another tactic used by fraudsters is taking a car-load of passengers out on the roads, inducing an accident with another vehicle and then making multiple claims for personal injuries.
The research found fraudsters tend to target females and the under 35s as they believe they are less likely to challenge the insurance claim – in the past two years, almost two thirds (65%) of victims were female and 59% were aged 34 or younger.
In addition to staging accidents, LV= saw a marked increase in fraudsters exaggerating the circumstances of an accident in an attempt to gain a higher payout.
One in three (32%) drivers who have been involved in an accident in the past two years said the other party tried to claim compensation for injuries to passengers who weren’t in the vehicle at the time or said the other party exaggerated the circumstances of the accident in order to inflate their claim.
John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, said: “Every year there are tens of thousands of staged accidents, which are putting the safety of innocent motorists at risk. Fraud is not a victim-less crime and the cost of paying fraudulent claims drives up the cost of car insurance for all.”