I network regularly over breakfast and lunch with other leaders in industry and recently one of my colleagues in the insurance industry Paul Farrell decided to keep us updated on what is happening in the world of insurance. You may not be aware of current scams, but this topic could provide a food for thought?


How to spot car crash motoring fraud!

At a glance

  • New Association of British Insurers figures show an average of 350 frauds worth £3.6 million were detected every day in 2014
  • Dishonest motor insurance frauds were the most common, up 12% on 2013
  • Motoring scams cost UK insurers hundreds of millions of pounds every year.
  • The Association of British Insurers has released figures showing there were 67,000 fraudulent motor claims in 2014, up 12% on 2013. These claims were valued at £835 million.
  • In total, UK insurers detected 130,000 fraudulent claims last year, equivalent to 350 every day.
  • The most well known motoring scam is ‘crash for cash’, where criminals deliberately cause accidents, either amongst themselves or by targeting innocent motorists. An example of this is where a criminal brakes ahead of an unsuspecting motorist for no reason, causing the victim to drive into the back of the criminal’s car. Crash-for-cash is estimated to cost the insurance industry £392 million a year in fraud.
  • Red flag indicators in motor fraud cases
  • Third Party stopped for no reason or appeared to cause accident deliberately.
  • Three or more adult occupants in either vehicle
  • Accident occurred late at night or early in the morning 10pm-6am
  • Without prompting the p/h mentions they did not see the TP break lights prior to the accident.
  • Flash-for-cash
  • Ghost occupancy or ghost passengers (parties claim for whiplash who were not in the vehicle)
  • Bus crashes
  • Exaggeration – Vehicle Damage/Injuries
  • Third party provided a pre-written note & details to the p/h at the scene

So-called ‘flash-for-cash’ scams have been well publicised in the press. They operate along similar lines to induced accidents mentioned above, whereby criminals flash their car lights to let an innocent motorist out at a junction, before then crashing into them on purpose, This is the latest variation on a constantly evolving theme that is proving tricky to disprove in court as it can come down to one person’s word against another.

Advising customers to minimise motor fraud

  • Report all incidents promptly to your insurer/broker.
  • Write a detailed report of the incident as soon as possible while it is still fresh
  • Take photos of all the vehicles involved as damage can be exaggerated
  • Make a note of the registration numbers
  • Note down the names, age and sex of all passengers
  • If possible and safe to do so, take photos of all parties involved
  • Get statements from any witnesses present


If you want to get in touch with Paul, please get in touch:

Paul Farrell

Commercial Account Executive

Osbornes Insurances Oxford Limited

Tel :- 01844 213161

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