Are ‘Cash for Crash’ scams really on the decline?

Figures released by the Department for Transport have revealed that the number of reported casualties in 2016 was 6% lower than the previous year. Fatalities were down an impressive 17% on the 2016 figure, yet we continue to pay higher premiums year on year and beleaguered drivers can‘t understand why. The AA insists that the root cause is “soaring fraud and personal injury claim costs”.

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In short, the majority suffer for the benefit of the crooked or stupid elements of the population. The Association of British Insurers is on record as saying that the Government must do something about the “unacceptable cost pressures that insurers are facing”. The Prime Minister meanwhile states that he is “considering radical reforms” to tackle the UK’s “compensation culture”. We would all be happy if he would do this sooner rather than later.

Basically, it is no good moaning at the agent on the other end of the ‘phone come renewal time. We blame the companies but would our ire be better deployed at those crooked individuals who are taking advantage of the car insurance system?

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You may have heard of the term ‘slam-on’. This is when a driver will deliberately slam on their brakes thus ensuring the innocent party crashes into the back of them. A claim swiftly ensues for the car, the driver and the four other people in the car with him – whether they were there or not. Unless you have tremendous presence of mind, witnesses and other forms of evidence, then try proving otherwise. This is the method of choice for opportunists and criminals alike. Criminal claims is a massive business involving fraudsters and possibly repairers and ‘claims management companies’.

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Obviously the insurance companies and police work to stop this activity but those that escape are probably responsible for adding £50+ to your premium. In addition to this you have to factor in uninsured drivers. There is always an irresponsible element who simply don’t bother, pick up an old banger and leg it when they have a collision. Add this on to the cases where folk can’t afford to insure their cars – a growing problem – yet think it won’t hurt just to pop to the shops. Getting involved with these people means that it’s your policy that’s going to foot the bill and you can probably kiss your hard earned no claims discount goodbye as well. Annually, these drivers are probably adding another £50+ to your bill.

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Couple this with the number of spurious whiplash claims generated by unscrupulous ‘no win no fee’ bandits and their dim-witted dupes and it would not be a surprise if some £150 – £200 of your annual bill is your donation to crooks. Let us sincerely hope that the Government act soon. Remind your MP!