Does ‘Crash for Cash’ happen near you?

In the same way as Insurance companies examine the variations in burglary rates and car theft, or any other factors that affect everyday insurance, they are now examining the surge of ‘crash for cash’ scams that now feature so much in insurance fraud.
They estimate that these frauds add approximately £45 to our insurance premium every single year, and in addition often delay the payments for genuine claims that need to be checked due to their location or type. The scams are estimated to currently cost up to £400 million a year increasing the insurance premiums of honest drivers, as well as delaying payouts for claims that happened at known hotspots by up to three weeks.


‘Crash for cash' fraudsters fake accidents by making unnecessary emergency stops at busy roundabouts or slip roads, forcing motorists to crash into them. They then make bogus claims to the innocent motorist's insurer, often including fictitious injuries.
Sophisticated monitoring of crash data and coordinated nationwide investigations means anti-fraud insurance teams at leading insurers are aware of hundreds of sites that have been used by fraudsters, enabling them to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Further analysis has enabled them to map the entire country to highlight evidence of suspicious claims and determine the ten worst hotspots for the scams. By utilising this information alongside specially developed technology and methodology, insurers are able to catch fraudsters more easily and quickly.


The top ten hotspots include roundabouts and slip roads throughout the UK.


Top 10 crash for cash hot spots
1.     Centenary Way, Trafford Park, Manchester
2.     Haslingden roundabout, Junction 5, M65
3.     Scotland Road roundabout, Junction 13, M65
4.     Gannow Top roundabout, Cavalry Way, Burnley
5.     Eden Point roundabout, A34, Stockport
6.     Denham roundabout, M40
7.     Jarman Park, A414, Hemel Hempstead
8.     Parkway Uxbridge Road A312 / A4020
9.     Port Way / Strand Road junction, Preston
10.     Junction 24 roundabout, M25


When analysed by area postcode the results are slightly different as seen in the map of the UK shown below, where it seems to be a ‘B’ of a problem.

 


 
Although it is a major national problem, it was stated in a recent report, jointly published by The Insurance Fraud Bureau and Crimestoppers, that certain key areas are more often used for the fraud.  Bradford, Birmingham, and numerous areas of Lancashire including Bolton, Manchester and Liverpool are major hotspots for ‘Crash for Cash’ schemes.

In the ‘Crash for Cash’ phenomenon, criminals target unsuspecting motorists with the intention of staging a crash in order to make claims against them. By exaggerating claims for personal injury, vehicle damage, and car hire, individual claims made by scammers can be as high as £30,000. In the majority of cases these crashes are co-ordinated by organised criminal gangs who make hundreds of claims every year.

The IFB and Crimestoppers have appealed for information on bogus claims, and are urging motorists to look out for criminals staging crashes in a crime that collectively costs policyholders almost £400 million every year. With this in mind they have set up a special phone number called ‘Cheatline’.

Ben Fletcher, an IFB director, said: “Far from being a victimless crime, ‘Crash for Cash’ scams hit motorists in the pocket and put other road users in harm’s way. Working with police forces across the country we’ve secured over 850 arrests to date and information from our new Cheatline will help us bring more of these criminals to justice.”

You can contact Cheatline and report any suspicions anonymously on 0800 422 0421 or visit www.crashscam.co.uk to report any suspicious accidents that you may know of or were involved in.

Police and Insurance companies recommend that you consider camera protection as a protection against these criminals – it more than pays for itself by protecting your premium – and footage is acceptable under law.