Insurers have been hit heavily by fraudsters in recent years – but now it seems they are fighting back.
Insurance has taken up the battle by helping to expose two cash for crash fraudsters by proving their evidence was fundamentally dishonest.
In the first case, heard at Birmingham Crown Court, husband and wife Constantine and Romanu Barbu had their car insurance claim dismissed after dashcam footage revealed that they had deliberately staged an accident with an AXA
The couple submitted a combined claim for more than £80,000, including costs, claiming for personal injury, storage, recovery and credit hire charges. When questioned about the collision, which took place in London, the couple admitted making an emergency stop but their claim fell apart when questioned further.
The claimants insisted on using a London-based recovery, storage and credit hire firm despite living in Birmingham and claimed to have a range of symptoms caused by the accident including anxiety, depression, flashbacks and panic attacks.
The judge found the injuries to be exaggerated, especially as there was no record of the duo seeking medical attention at the time of the crash.
In the second case, heard at Bradford County Court, taxi driver Choudry Majid Ali withdrew his claim, which included costs for vehicle damage, hire and storage totalling almost £15,000 after claiming to be involved in an accident with a refuse truck insured by AXA
Both drivers claimed the accident had been caused by the other, while the refuse truck driver not only disputed the identity of the driver but believed the independent witness was not present at the time of the crash.
In court, the independent witness and the claimant disagreed on the facts of the case. The statement was altered and then returned. Under cross examination the claimant was unable to confirm whether he was driving the vehicle at the time and was not familiar with his own statement asking his lawyer on several occasions what his words had meant.
Despite Ali eventually withdrawing his claim, the court found that it still had enough evidence to find the claimant had been fundamentally dishonest.
Commenting on the cases, Tom Wilson, counter fraud manager at AXA
Insurance said: “We are very pleased that, once again, we have been able to use the fundamental dishonesty defence to protect our policyholders and ourselves from fraudulent claims.
was one of the first insurers to successfully use this defence and the courts’ increasing willingness to accept the defence and find for fundamental dishonesty is hugely encouraging.
“We have a duty to protect our customers and our shareholders from fraud using all legal channels at our disposal to do so and these two successes are yet another example of that in action.”
Crash for cash scammers ordered to pay thousands
Party bus whiplash claim comes to a screeching halt