We all know that motor insurance fraud is a massive problem – indeed it is thought to be costing the industry around £780 million a year. However, the true size of this problem may be much bigger than we’d expect – with many incidents going unreported.
According to data obtained through a Freedom of Information request by moneysupermarket.com, only 1,087 cases of motor insurance fraud were reported to the 13 police forces that returned data sets on request from the comparison website. This is despite the fact that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has reported 68,000 cases since 2016.
The comparison website’s report also highlighted the areas with the highest number of reported cases:
- City of London – 746 cases.
- West Yorkshire Police – 102.
- Derbyshire Police – 53.
It should be noted that these figures were obtained from the 13 that responded to the request – a total of 43 police forces were contacted in total. The figures also highlight that most motor insurance fraud in the UK relates to obtaining insurance using false information – 54.8%. This can range from deliberately providing the wrong information about your age or previous driving history, to lying about who the main driver of the car is.
“Motor insurance fraud remains a big problem for drivers in the UK,” said Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at moneysupermarket.com. “Although we often hear from insurers about the impact that criminal activity has on car insurance prices, with £50 per policy being mentioned, these figures show that a surprisingly low amount of incidents are being reported to police forces.
“This may be because, historically, so-called ‘white collar’ crime has been less of a priority for the police. And in society in general, insurance companies are often seen as ‘fair game’, creating an impression that insurance fraud is a victimless crime. Whatever the reason, what police forces see is clearly the tip of the iceberg.”
The second most prolific form of motor insurance fraud are crash-for-cash scams – accounting for 25.5% of all fraudulent claims.