Insurance scams take many forms. It could be fake policies for sale on social media, people being tricked into thinking they’re entitled to compensation or criminals that deliberately crash into other drivers to make a claim. In recent months, we’ve also seen an increase in fraudsters targeting people effected by Covid-19 to steal money and personal information.
Insurance scams are estimated to cost consumers in the UK more £3 billion each year.
A YouGov survey into the public’s understanding of insurance scams showed:
- 95% of the people sampled ‘knew little’ or ‘knew nothing’ about insurance fraud.
- Only 18% had heard of claims farming.
- Only 15% had heard of Ghost Broking.
- A total of 58% were either ‘very worried’ or ‘fairly worried’ about falling victim to data theft.
Report insurance fraud to CheatLine by calling 0800 422 0421.
It’s safe, easy and completely confidential – and if you don’t want to provide your details, that’s okay. You can do it anonymously. There are three pages of questions that should only take a few minutes to complete depending upon the information you have. The first page asks for details about the perpetrators, the second asks for further information you might have, the third asks how you know about CheatLine and if we can contact you should we need to; you simply need to say yes and leave contact details, or no and report anonymously.
We share the information you provide with insurers, the police and industry watchdogs, helping to protect people from insurance scams.
Typical Insurance Frauds
Application fraud – Where inaccurate or misleading information has been provided to obtain insurance cover.
Claims fraud – You suspect someone has voluntarily provided, or has been coerced to provide inaccurate information as part of an insurance claim.
Claims farming – Actively incentivising someone to make a false claim or provide misleading information as part of a genuine insurance claim.
Data theft – Stealing or acquiring personal data to obtain insurance or make a fraudulent insurance claim.
Know the signs of these common insurance scams
If contacted out of the blue, never provide personal or financial information.
Only make a claim directly through the insurance provider and only use the contact details provided at the point the policy was taken out.
If support is required to manage a claim, use a reputable FCA-registered company or SRA-regulated (Solicitors Regulation Authority) Solicitors firm.
Take steps to protect personal data from being stolen to help to prevent being targeted. Guidance can be found at the Information Commissioner’s Office.
When buying insurance, check that the seller is registered with:
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) if it’s an Insurance Broker.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) if it’s an insurer selling motor insurance.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can also be checked for all Insurance Advisors.
It’s recommended to check that the seller has a legitimate website, UK phone number and address. It’s also important to look out for any behavior that seems unprofessional or unusual.
Crash for Cash
There are several ways drivers can protect themselves from ‘Crash for Cash’ scams:
Keep your distance – Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front:
Two seconds in dry conditions. Four seconds in wet conditions. 20 seconds in ice/snow.
Stay alert – Drive safe and stick to the Highway Code. If you see someone driving suspiciously, stay calm and keep back.
Know the signs – if you’re involved in a suspicious collision the other driver or their passengers might:
Appear unphased by the collision.
Display injuries at complete odds with the impact of the collision.
Provide pre-written insurance details.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.