Don’t be a victim of a crash for cash scam

A-Plan in Bromsgrove offers its tips for motorists as region features in list of fraud hot spots

Birmingham has topped this year’s Fraud top 20 league table of the towns where innocent motorists are being targeted by fraudsters for crash for cash and bogus passenger scams. In response, A-Plan, the high street insurance broker in Bromsgrove, is offering motorists its tips to prevent becoming a victim.

The Motor Fraud Index, published by law firm Keoghs*, is an analysis of all suspicious motor insurance claims grouped by the address of the claimant.

The types of fraud include:

  1. Contrived incidents: where an accident is staged in order to pursue a claim against an insurer
  2. Induced claims: Where somebody deliberately brakes in front of you in order that you collide with their rear, enabling them to pursue a claim against you (usually at low speed, although that does not stop a personal injury claim being pursued), or indicates to turn inducing you to pull out, and then carries on into you.
  3. Bogus passengers: An incident occurs where there are no passengers in the vehicle, but claims from multiple passengers are submitted.
  4. Exaggerated claims: Where a minor incident is enhanced by further damaging the vehicle involved in order to ‘help’ the validity of an injury or vehicle hire claim.

A-Plan’s Tips to prevent becoming a victim of such an incident:

  1. Remain vigilant, especially on the approach to a hazard or in a line of traffic: This may seem obvious, but the fraudsters don’t actually want to get hurt, they merely want to be able to claim for being hurt. As such most incidents happen at low speed, when concentration levels often drop. So if approaching a roundabout, traffic lights, or waiting in a queue of traffic, don’t expect the car in front to act rationally, and leave plenty of room. That way a sudden application of their brakes won’t lead to a collision.
  2. Take pictures: If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision, take pictures of the damage to the third party vehicle, and to verify the number of people in the vehicle. Ideally pictures should be taken with a disposable camera, to avoid any doubt surrounding digital image changes.
  3. Wait for the manoeuvre to take place: Take care not to rely on indicators too much. It is not uncommon for fraudsters to tempt you into pulling out in front of them by indicating and slowing down, only to continue once you have pulled out. Proving they were indicating will be very difficult (and provide little defence anyway), leaving you responsible for the claim.

Chris Warfield, Branch Manager from A-Plan in Bromsgrove said: “Fraud has a direct impact on motor Insurance costs so for those living in and around Birmingham this is bad news. However, we work hard with insurers to ensure that in the areas in and around Birmingham our knowledge of the local accident ‘hotspots’ helps keep the fraudsters at bay. By following a few simple steps, motorists can play their part in making that happen.”

*http://www.keoghs.co.uk/files/MFI_2014_Overview_FINAL.pdf