COVENTRY has been named as a ‘crash for cash’ hot-spot following a spate of fraudulent whiplash claims.
The city moved into the top ten for the first time, with Birmingham being named as the location motorists are most likely to be subjected to the scam, insurance group Aviva has revealed.
Last year Aviva dealt with with more than 3,000 organised crash for cash claims – one every three hours.
Crash for cash claims see fraudsters deliberately causing car crashes in order to claim bogus whiplash compensation from innocent motorists.
The figures also include ‘staged’ accidents, where two damaged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident.
While the number of induced accidents in 2015 had fallen by 2 per cent compared to a record high the year before, Tom Gardiner, Head of Fraud, Aviva, said: “We remain very concerned that fraudsters continue to put their own greed ahead of innocent motorists’ safety.
“Our figures show induced accidents now account for nearly half of all organised motor fraud we detect.
“Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at risk.
“It is also a significant drain on scarce public resources such as ambulance, police and A&E time, all of which are wasted on these entirely bogus claims.”
The number of fraudulent accidents in Birmingham totaled more than the rest of the ‘Top 10’ crash for cash locations across the country combined.
But now Aviva is concerned the practice could be spreading to new areas, including neighbouring Worcester and Leicester.
Mr Gardiner added: “Induced accidents remain a serious concern for all road users.
“However, as our figures show, we are getting better at detecting, declining and prosecuting these claims – but urgent reform is needed to remove the root cause of the problem, which is easy access to compensation and profits.
“We urge motorists to remain alert to induced accidents, especially in those areas where we know this is a problem.”
Members of the public can join the fight against insurance fraud by reporting information or suspicions about insurance fraud by calling the free, anonymous service Cheatline online at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline or by calling 0800 4220421.
2015 Top 10 Crash for Cash Locations:
2. North London
3. East London
6. North West London
9. Coventry (new entry)