The Association of British Insurers has shed light on the rapidly expanding extent of insurance fraud in the UK.
In new statistics released yesterday (September 13) it revealed that 2,500 frauds, worth £25 million, are uncovered on average every week. The number of “slip and trip” frauds has increased by more than a third with their value now at £391 million – a leap of 14% compared to 2014. Dishonest motor claims, meanwhile, remain the most common form of fraud – with 70,000 detected during 2015 at a value of £800 million (albeit this represented a 10% fall compared to 2014).
Clearly, insurance fraud is no laughing matter. However, in the same report the ABI revealed some of its most astonishing cheats – some of which might just raise a smirk as you shake your head at the sheer ridiculousness of the efforts.
Take, for example, the so-called “laughing cheats” which we originally reported on here
. The case involved a gang of 19 fraudsters who staged a bus crash – with CCTV footage showing them laughing as they feigned their whiplash “injuries” and that litter on the bus floor did not move as the vehicle was brushed by a car – yet the gang members were sent flying.
Another example is that of an ice-cream van owner who staged fake road accidents in his Mr Whippy van and stood to pocket £100,000 – it seems he “did it for the lolly”.
One case, pun intended, involved an aircraft engineer who was jailed for two years after claiming that £189,000 worth of luggage was lost on a flight – even though the cases were empty when he checked in! Then there is a chef who tried to claim for multiple injuries following an alleged fall on a wet canteen floor – even though CCTV showed the fall was deliberately staged.
Or how about the case of the bride who claimed her wedding ring had been lost – yet she showed a photo of the ring that was actually taken the day after the supposed loss occurred. Or how about the man who claimed £5,000 in compensation for neck, back and arm injuries after a collision in a retail park – even though CCTV footage revealed he wasn’t in his car at the time.
It seems there are no lengths to which some fraudsters will not go to in order to try and make a claim – thankfully all of the ridiculous cases listed above were caught out. Sadly, however, many more get away with their scams.
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