A rise in fraudulent car insurance claims could be contributing to higher premiums for honest motorists, consumer group Which? has warned.
Which? surveyed more than 100 people who claimed to be victims of insurance fraud within the last five years.
One said he was caught up in a fraudulent claim when he was notified that his car had hit another vehicle some weeks earlier. He said a third party supplied photos showing his car parked on a street with its front bumper in contact with the other car’s damaged rear.
Admiral, his insurer, paid out the £1,100 claim after a 16-month exchange even though the he said he was not present at the time of the incident.
Another Which? member said she was falsely accused of scraping the passenger-side door of another car. Despite this, her insurer settled on her behalf which may now subsequently affect her premiums for up to five years.
Data from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department of the City of London Police said opportunistic insurance fraud cases, when somebody spots a chance in their everyday life to exaggerate a claim for financial gain, or provide false information when applying for insurance, have increased by 61% since last year.
Which? said the increase of such cases has been linked to the cost of living crisis.
A survey carried out in June by the Insurance Fraud Bureau found that one in 10 people said they would consider making a fraudulent insurance application or claim if they were struggling financially.
Which? said insurers need to do a better job when investigating dubious claims.
“Good insurers will make you feel like they’re on your side, leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of the truth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to have happened to some customers who now face higher premiums at a time when they are already at record levels,” Jenny Ross, editor of Which? Money, said.
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