The typical basic insurance coverage fraud detected final 12 months was for £12,000, marking a £600 enhance in contrast with 2019 when it was £11,400, in accordance with trade figures.
A journey insurance coverage cheat who tried to eat the proof and an “accident-prone” gardener who was caught out weightlifting had been among the many extra uncommon frauds uncovered, the Affiliation of British Insurers (ABI) stated.
Total, there was a fall within the variety of insurance coverage frauds detected in 2020, primarily resulting from fewer motor insurance coverage claims, with the roads being much less busy as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
The variety of detected fraudulent claims fell to 96,000, down 10% on 2019 and the bottom complete since 2007.
Their worth, at £1.1 billion, additionally fell in contrast with the earlier 12 months, however at a decrease price of 4%.
Fraud detection charges, when measured towards the variety of basic insurance coverage claims made, elevated.
Insurers additionally detected proportionally extra motor insurance coverage fraud than in 2019, regardless of a fall within the general variety of motor insurance coverage claims.
The variety of detected journey insurance coverage frauds dipped, though their worth elevated.
This led to the best ever recorded common claims worth of £2,358. Through the pandemic, journey claims have targeted on cancellation and curtailment, the ABI stated.
It stated examples of insurance coverage cheats who had been caught out and obtained a legal document embrace:
– A person who made a fraudulent journey insurance coverage declare for £13,000 for alleged medical prices in treating an ear harm whereas in Florida. The hospital had no document of finishing up the remedy. When confronted, the person tried to eat cast paperwork.
– Somebody claimed £30,000 for the theft of his luxurious Aston Martin automobile, just for it to be discovered being saved in a storage close to his office.
– A gardener made a number of claims for alleged accidents to his knee and elbow – one after he stated he had slipped on decking, one other whereas tripping on stairs. His claims fell aside when social media posts confirmed him weightlifting and jet snowboarding regardless of claiming to be incapacitated. He additionally claimed for instruments stolen from his van however harm proof he offered was proved to have pre-dated the alleged theft.
– A father and son carried out 5 staged “crash for money” highway incidents which might have netted them £35,000 if profitable. Over two years they used varied names, submitting pretend car engineer stories detailing the alleged harm.
– A coach driver made fraudulent claims below his employer’s healthcare scheme, together with non-existent in a single day hospital stays.
– A person was convicted of pocketing practically £18,000 in a five-week spree of promoting greater than 40 bogus motor insurance coverage insurance policies.
Mark Allen, the ABI’s chief fraud and monetary crime officer, stated: “Insurers tailored in a short time to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, to guard and help their sincere clients by means of essentially the most troublesome of occasions.
“Reflecting considerably fewer motor insurance coverage claims final 12 months in the course of the lockdowns, it’s no shock to see a fall in detected frauds final 12 months.#
“Additionally having an impression have been the varied help schemes from the Authorities to assist people and companies address the monetary hardship which may ordinarily result in elevated insurance coverage fraud.
“Nonetheless, the rise in fraud detection charges exhibits that, nonetheless troublesome the circumstances, insurers will proceed to do all they’ll to crack down on fraud to guard their sincere clients. As ‘the brand new regular’ kicks in, the trade will stay vigilant towards the fraud risk.”
Ben Fletcher, director of the Insurance coverage Fraud Bureau (IFB), stated: “The disruption attributable to Covid means many individuals proceed to face financial hardship which sadly supplies fertile floor for fraud.
“Not solely does insurance coverage fraud push up everybody else’s premium prices, however some scams equivalent to intentionally triggered collisions can put harmless individuals at critical danger of hurt.
“In these difficult occasions, it’s important that the general public continues to be vigilant and stories proof of insurance coverage scams to our confidential Cheatline, so we will work with the police to maintain fraud down and defend customers.”
Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels, head of Metropolis of London Police’s Insurance coverage Fraud Enforcement Division (IFED), stated: “It’s promising to see that the speed of frauds detected by insurers elevated final 12 months, demonstrating the trade’s resilience in defending its clients.
“IFED labored exhausting to behave upon these detections, with the variety of arrests executed by the unit greater than doubling (124%) final 12 months compared to 2019.
“We’re happy that, despite various court docket instances being postponed due to Covid-19, various audacious fraudsters had been delivered to justice final 12 months following investigations by IFED supported by the trade.
“These outcomes will hopefully act as a deterrent to any would-be criminals as life begins to return to regular and extra alternatives to commit insurance coverage fraud come up.”