UK’s crash for crash-for-cash hotspots revealed

New analysis reveals the worst places in the UK for insurance fraud cases involving deliberate or invented car crashes

Car crash

The UK’s crash-for-cash hotspots have been revealed, with Birmingham topping the list as the place with the highest prevalence of this type of car insurance fraud.

Crash for cash is a type of insurance fraud where criminals will deliberately cause an accident, often by slamming on their car’s brakes in front of an unsuspecting driver, and then claiming for damage and injuries. These schemes don’t always involve actual collisions, though - vehicles can be damaged behind closed doors and accidents invented entirely.

Not only did Birmingham have the worst figures overall, but of the top 10 UK postcodes for crash for cash, the first three - B25, B34 and B8 - were all in England’s second city.

Manchester was second on the overall list of locations with the most crash-for-cash schemes, with London in third and Luton in fourth. The worst individual postcodes other than those in Birmingham were in Bradford, Walsall, Blackburn and Romford.

The data comes from analysis by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) of 2.7 million motor insurance claims made across the UK in between 1 October 2019 and 31 December 2020. Of these, 170,000 claims are suspected to be linked to crash-for-cash schemes.

Victims of these scams can be left injured and out of pocket, in many cases losing their no claims bonuses. The crime also costs UK consumers around £3 billion a year.

The IFB recently worked with the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department to track down and convict a Birmingham-based fraudster who had been running these types of scams for more than two years.

To avoid falling victim to a crash for cash scheme, driver’s are advised to bear typical stopping distances in mind: two seconds in the dry, four seconds in the wet and 20 seconds if there’s ice or snow on the road.

Motorists should also be aware of unusual driving behaviour around them, remembering that scammers may encourage them to pull out at a junction, or may even have disabled their brake lights. If you are involved in a collision and the occupants of the other car either seem unfazed, appear to exaggerate their injuries or hand you a pre-written list of insurance details, it could indicate they’re fraudsters.

Any suspicious activity can be reported to the IFB Cheatline by calling 0800 422 0421.

Click here for information on how to beat insurance fraud scams....

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