Insurance fraudsters never seem to learn – at least that’s what we can glean from this latest case of social media foiling a fundamentally dishonest claim.
Cyclist Andy Airey, who stated he had stopped running and reduced his cycling, was claiming against a QBE-insured driver but was forced to discontinue his claim for damages after the fraud intelligence team of law firm BLM found numerous social media posts contradicting his assertions regarding pain, suffering, and loss of amenity, among other things.
Instead, Airey now has to pay the defendant’s costs, estimated to be around £40,000, after Bristol County Court found him to be fundamentally dishonest. The botched attempt following the 2015 accident ultimately saved QBE approximately £145,000 in damages and legal costs.
It was thanks to the personal injury claimant’s Facebook and Strava posts, which included those documenting Airey’s 10 mile run four weeks prior to his medical examination; 100 kilometre bike ride two weeks before the check-up; 20 mile bike ride on examination day; and 102 mile bike ride seven weeks afterwards.
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“Gross exaggeration of genuine injuries is just one of the many types of fraud that is prevalent in the insurance industry,” noted Jon Radford, claims manager at QBE’s special investigation unit.
“We are pleased with the fundamental dishonesty outcome of this case and hope it serves as a clear deterrent. Fraud remains a serious issue, but by working to prevent these types of cases, we can help keep our customers safe from similar behaviour.”
Meanwhile BLM associate Edward Smethurst had this to say: “This is another lesson to fraudulent injury claimants and practitioners alike as to the importance of a claimant’s social media presence.
“Although fault for the traffic collision was not contested, claiming an impaired ability to run or cycle while posting significant evidence to the contrary online will come back to bite you.”