Crash for Cash fraudsters adding £400m to premiums

| November 24, 2012
Crash for Cash fraudsters adding £400m to premiums

The growing problem of ‘Crash for Cash’ schemes is highlighted in a new report by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

This type of fraud, in which organised gangs deliberately cause traffic accidents in order to make fraudulent insurance claims, is costing UK policyholders around £400 million every year.

The IFB is working with the police across the UK to combat the problem, with 36 operations currently underway.

One in seven personal injury claims are a result of ‘Crash for Cash’ schemes, which put innocent motorists’ lives at risk.

Despite the risks, one in 12 people would consider taking part in a scam, according to the IFB’s report.

David Neave, Chairman of the IFB, said: “Fraudsters don’t just scam the insurance industry; they pick the pocket of every honest policyholder whose premiums increase to cover the costs of fraud.

“But in ‘Crash for Cash’, insurance fraud poses even starker risks to society.

“Fraudsters motivated by greed are gambling with the lives of innocent motorists by deliberately causing crashes up and down the country.”

In Gwent, the IFB, Gwent Police and South Wales police, have carried out a joint operation known as Operation Dino, which has resulted in 40 people being arrested over a ‘crash for cash’ scam.

The scam is believed to have operated out of a garage, initially called ‘St David’s Crash Repair’ but which later changed its name to ‘EASIFIX’.

Ben Fletcher, Head of Operations at the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said: “Around £50 is added to every premium to cover the costs of fraud, so honest policyholders ultimately pick up the bill for ‘crash for cash’ gangs motivated by greed.”

“Unfortunately, ‘crash for cash’ scams are being plotted up and down the country.

“The IFB is currently managing 36 live Operations with police forces across the UK.

“The collective value of the scams under investigations tops £60 million.”

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