“Cash for crash” fraud is a major problem on the UK’s roads and it’s a subject that has gathered a lot of attention recently from the police and the press. Until recently there have been no serious incidents involving harm to a person or persons and that is why now is a better time than any for the government to step up its efforts to eradicate Britain’s cash for crash culture.

Cash for crash is a fairly simple and all too common practice among people who see no problem in causing sensible motorists a lot of bother on the roads. It occurs when a fraudster deliberately causes an often low speed accident in order to claim for personal injuries. Typical tactics used by fraudsters include making sudden stops at roundabouts, junctions and slip roads that force the victims car to crash into the back of them. It’s a serious issue here in the UK and according to recent statistics, such crashes are part of a criminal industry which costs insurers £392m a year through false claims.

False insurance claims are common in many areas of the insurance industry but one such instance recently has left insurers and insurance customers feeling astonished at the ingenuity of criminals. Published last week in Portsmouth’s “The News” was a story that claimed a woman had blamed a non-existent seagull for the disappearance of a watch. This, according to Portsmouth researchers, is a common practice of Britain’s insurance cheats. Moreover, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has conducted research into the behaviour of claimants and found that more than two-thirds of people either wouldn’t rule out making a false claim or would think it is acceptable to exaggerate the damage or cost of an item that is lost or stolen.

Regardless, the combined cost of committing small insurance fraud for items that cost for example, £500, would result in billions of pounds lost by insurers. The conclusion is simple: False claims, even if small, have a much larger impact than you would imagine.