Crash for Cash

‘Crash for cash’ schemes are becoming unnervingly frequent, and there have even been cases reported in our local town of Newport.

It occurs when a driver will suddenly brake hard and stop in front of another vehicle, for no apparent reason resulting in the second vehicle hitting the first. It is common around roundabouts and wide junctions where the second driver can see any oncoming traffic and therefore is unsuspecting of the first driver stopping.

It is estimated that it costs the industry up to £1 billion a year through fraudulent claims that often get over exaggerated. It is also estimated that it costs each genuine policyholder an additional £50 premium to cover the costs and claims. There has been a 60% rise in the number of personal injury claims in the last 10 years, despite the number of collisions falling and improvements to vehicle safety.

With over half a million whiplash claims each year, they cost the insurance industry hundreds of thousands of pounds, and experts believe that up to 60% of these claims are fraudulent.

Drivers in the local area and around the country are being warned to take extra care when driving, leaving sufficient distance between the car in front and taking extra care at junctions and roundabouts.

Here are some top tips to think about if you do unfortunately find yourself in an accident:

-          Take lots of pictures

o   Take pictures of your car, the third-party vehicle ensuring that you take note of any damage caused by the accident and any damage already on the vehicle. Take pictures of the vehicles as they are before they get moved wherever possible, and remember to take pictures of all around both vehicles.

-          Take note of all occupants of the vehicle. Claims for whiplash are often exaggerated for more people than were present at the time!

-          Where possible, get an independent witness but be aware that gangs can plant witnesses as part of the scam.

-          If the other party is claiming any injuries, insist on calling the police.

-          Consider purchasing a ‘dash cam’ which will film any incident that you could be involved in.

-          Report the incident to your insurer or broker as soon as possible and tell them about any suspicions you may have.

-          If you believe that the incident is a scam, then call the police on 101.

The insurance industry is clamping down on fraudulent claims with a £200m a year investment in tackling fraud, and with the total number fraudulent claims down in 2015 compared to the previous year, the investment is paying dividends.

Local police are issuing further warnings so take extra care when driving. Here at Fiveways, we can handle all your claims for you, taking one more worry away from your hands. Not only do these fraudulent claims increase our insurance premiums, the criminals carrying out these scams also pose a danger to other motorists.

What would you do if you were involved? Will your insurer pay out? Ask a professional and find out today from Fiveways. Call us on 01952 812380 or email enquiries@fivewaysinsurance.co.uk