How to deal with crash for cash fraud
Crash For Cash Fraud – How to deal with it if it happens to you
New drivers have a hard enough time as it is, especially younger motorists.
There are obviously a few nerves to deal with when first taking to the road without the calming influence of your instructor. In addition there are notoriously high car insurance premiums for young drivers, even if you shop around for the cheapest quotes available. Add to this a few other problems that have recently reared their head such as requests from boffins at Cardiff University to ban new drivers from the roads at night or restrict them from having too many passengers because of their initial inexperience.
But there’s also a more sinister problem that young drivers have to face up to. More and more motorists are staging deliberate accidents so that they can claim money back on car insurance. In simple terms, scammers are crashing for cash – and it’s happening lots.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates around 30,000 crash for cash incidents take place every year, costing insurers around £400 million and pushing up premiums for honest, innocent drivers by around £45 each.
Some astonishing results were found recently through a piece of research that was done by a well-known price comparison website. It found that one in twenty drivers who are under 35 confessed to have already been involved staging a deliberate accident while another15% would consider it in order to net some extra cash.
It’s a Time Bomb – and one that’s ticking very loudly – so be prepared and don’t think “It could never happen to me or a member of my family”.
What is crashing for cash?
Car insurance industry research shows that the scammers usually have three different tactics:
1. Staged accidents
A situation where two fraudsters deliberately crash into each other and claim on their separate insurance policies.
2. Contrived accidents
In this case where scammers make insurance claims on made up accidents that have never even taken place.
3. Induced accidents
This final category is the one to be really vigilant about, as the criminals target younger motorists because they are less likely to kick up a fuss and contest the claim because of their lack of experience.
It is where the “crash for casher” deliberately drives dangerously or badly so as to force a collision with an innocent motorist. For example, they slam on their brakes without warning so the car behind crunches into the back of them, or pull out at a junction or roundabout giving an oncoming car no chance to avoid them.
How you can steer clear of these fraudsters
The best way to make sure you don’t get caught up in any crash for cash controversy is to remember the wise words of your driving instructor – drive safely and pay attention at all times! Keep your distance from the car in front and always anticipate the road (and any potential hazards) ahead. The better and safer you drive, the less excuse you give the fraudsters to target you.
What to do if you get involved
If you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to a crash for cash scam, try and remain as calm as possible, and whatever you do, don’t admit liability or responsibility for the bump. Keep your wits about you and remember as many details about the incident and the perpetrators as possible. It’s likely they’ll invent a few “invisible” passengers when it’s time to contact the insurers so that they can claim that little bit more. If you haven’t got the highly recommended dashboard cameras in your vehicle, make sure that you get a quick photo on your mobile phone showing they were travelling alone, so that often used lie can be nipped in the bud straight away.
A final word of advice
After reading this you might think that crashing for cash is a cheeky way for you to earn some easy money. After all, it seems enough people are getting away with it at the moment that it’s a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them”. But if you were to get found out, the punishments are harsh and the consequences are long-term. You’ll likely get a “fraud mark” added to your driving license, not only voiding your current car insurance but meaning you’ll be paying much higher premiums for years to come. And the insurance company won’t hesitate in passing your details on to the police. A conviction for fraud doesn’t look good on anyone’s record. So fit your car with a dashboard camera and save money – it’s a far better alternative.