Car insurance fraud is big news right now, and it’s an expensive and costly trend that’s affecting drivers up and down the country.
The premise is a simple but potentially expensive one. Imagine that you’re out driving when suddenly and without warning, the driver in front of you slams on their breaks causing you to slam into the back of them. Out they get, take down your details and insist that you are at fault for the collision.
A few weeks later, you find yourself with a letter from your insurers who have received a hefty claim from the driver of the vehicle you’d made contact with. The claim may even cover costs for a recovery vehicle and injuries to passengers, even though the driver had driven away from the scene and had no-one else in the car.
According to a recent report by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), the annual cost in the UK as a result of ‘crash for cash’ fraud stands at £392million, with 1 in 7 personal injury claims linked to suspected car insurance fraud claims. These deliberate accidents and subsequent fraudulent claims are something all drivers should be wary of – not least because they’re incredibly dangerous too.
However, with a little forewarning and preparation you can put a number of things in place to thwart any potential ‘cash for crash’ scammers.
- Drive carefully. This should be a given whenever you’re on the road, but nowadays there are mobile phones, satnavs and many other things that vie for our attention. Car insurance fraudsters will often drive ahead of the victim’s car while a passenger looks for any signs of distraction. As soon as they see the driver reaching for the radio, they slam on the brakes and cause a collision. So keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you at all times, so that you have sufficient opportunity to slow down and stop should you need to.
- Take photos. Should the worst come to the worst and a collision occur, take photos of any resulting damage. Make sure they can be shared electronically: save and backup your photos from your phone or digital camera to a hard drive or scan and save any images taken on an older camera once they have been developed. Be sure to take photos of the damage to both cars and get a photo of the number plate from the other car too for reference purposes, along with the make and model.
- Injuries? If the driver of the other car claims that someone is injured, you should always call the police immediately.
- Always carry a notebook and pen in your car so that you can note down important details. Write a detailed report of the incident while it’s still fresh in your mind and take down the names and ages and a brief description of all passengers involved. Get the details of the other car too: name, make, model, colour and registration plate.
- If there were any witnesses present, ask them for a statement. Again, get it as soon as you can after the incident so that it’s still clear in their minds as to exactly what occurred.
At Anthony James we have a reliably different range of motor insurance policies available to keep you and your drivers covered. From private motor insurance policies to commercial vehicle cover and more besides, we have a wide range of insurance packages designed to suit you. For further information call us now on 01509 274000.