Huge rise in car insurance fraud

A dramatic rise in car insurance fraud includes shocking cases of `crash for cash` accidents being staged to claim compensation, a leading law firm has reported.

Simon Evans, partner at Dolmans and head of claims-handling division B4 Legal, of Cardiff, said fraud adds an extra £40 a year to an average car insurance policy.

He said the 70% rise in fraudulent claims over the last three years equals £5 million a week and has "a deeply corrosive affect on society".

The increase was discovered in a survey by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which uncovered 24,000 fraudulent claims worth £260m over the last year.

Cases ranged from exaggerating how bad an injury was to claiming that an injury happened in a road accident when it was a pre-existing condition.

Said Mr Evans: "There are claimants out there who are trying to squeeze compensation from what they see as 'soft targets', and these should be forcibly dealt with."

But he said a fight-back is being supported by law enforcement agencies and the judiciary through a series of well-publicised prosecutions of the 'crash for cash' gangs.

Copyright © Press Association 2008