2,300 false insurance claims made every week
06 August 2010
Fraudulent insurance claims are at a record high according to new figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Over 2,300 false insurance claims are made every week in the UK which totals up to more than £16 million.
The ABI's figures reveal that in 2009 the number of detected fraudulent insurance claims rose by 14% in comparison to the previous year's figures. A total of 122,000 bogus claims were uncovered last year, valued at £840 million.
Motor insurance frauds were the most expensive in 2009, amounting to £410 million in false claims. Home insurance was the most common, which accounted for nearly half (62,000) of the total number of detected false claims in 2009.
Fraudsters put forward 8,500 liability claims last year, where the majority lied to claim personal injury insurance. Similar to 2008, figures showed that 4% of all claims by cost were fraudulent, but this is double the figure from five years ago.
The rise in personal debt and the huge financial pressures that families are facing are the main factors for the startling rise in insurance frauds, according to an ABI spokesperson.
Some of the most incredulous cases included a man who alleged he had fractured his hand after tripping over a pothole in the street, when in fact he had punched a wall during a domestic argument.
In another case, a young female suspected of shoplifting injured herself from jumping down some stairs while running away from security guards, yet told her insurer that she had tripped over a loose pavement.
Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance and health, said that the high number of false claims means that honest insurance holders have to pay more.:
"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," he said.
"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."