Bogus Claims Moving from Motor to Casualty and Contents Scams

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is charting ever-changing shifts in insurance fraud to ensure its members stay one step ahead in the fight against crime. As well as highlighting the move from motor insurance fraud following the introduction of caps on pay-outs for injuries such as whiplash, it has kept a close eye on new, emerging trends that could be the next big scam.

While bogus casualty claims remain high, so too are home insurance frauds. But as scammers dream up ever-more elaborate hoaxes to win huge pay-outs from insurance companies, methods of detecting fraud are becoming more and more advanced.

Detection Key to Reducing Premiums

Because fraudulent insurance claims push up premiums for everybody, insurance companies are working hard to detect and prosecute bogus claimants. A man who faked slipping on a wet bag in a supermarket received a suspended prison sentence after the store’s insurance company obtained incriminating CCTV footage. It showed the man gently lowering himself to the floor before calling for help.

Not all fraudsters are opportunists. Some go to great lengths, planning and rehearsing a story, before making a bogus claim.

When is a Burglary Not a Burglary?

One fraudster found himself in the dock after he submitted photographs of ‘stolen’ items taken after a burglary was said to have taken place. The images prompted an investigation, which led to a search of the claimant’s house.

During the search, police found items the man said had been stolen. He was seeking a £30,000 pay-out, claiming burglars stole keys to his home from a bag while he was at the gym.

Full House for Insurer

One of the most unusual scams recorded by an insurer involved a claim from a woman who, wait for it, said she accidentally incinerated her bingo winnings while cooking. In her claim, she said wind came through a window and blew £200 from a table to the hob.

After investigating the claim and considering the locations of the window, table and hob, the insurer considered the freak incident a fake. The woman had sent the insurer charred remains of her ‘winnings’, but experts deemed them to amount to no more than £20.

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