“Crash for Cash” remains a worrying threat to innocent motorists and one of the most damaging forms of insurance fraud, a new survey has revealed.
The scam involves deliberately crashing a vehicle into the car of an unsuspecting driver. The fraudster will then attempt to claim injury compensation, usually for whiplash because this is the easiest injury to fake.
Thankfully, many of these bogus claims are identified before money is paid out. However, this is not much consolation to the motorists targeted, who have already suffered damage to their vehicle, which can affect their insurance premiums and no claims bonus. In many cases, they also suffer from stress, inconvenience and physical injury.
One leading insurer detected more than 3,000 Crash for Cash claimants last year, amounting to one attempt every three hours. A quarter of these claims occurred in Birmingham, which is by far the UK’s Crash for Cash hotspot. The popularity of this scam means that many fraudulent claims must slip through the net as well, with a knock-on impact on the premiums of every driver.
How to avoid being caught in a Crash for Cash scam
- Pay attention and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Take extra care at roundabouts and slip roads, as these are traditionally favoured areas for these kinds of incidents.
- Watch out for cars with non-working brake lights, as this is a common feature of Crash for Cash vehicles. You should also keep an eye out for erratic driving and sudden changes in speed.
- If the driver or passengers of the car in front of you keep looking behind them towards you, this could be a sign that they are planning an “accident.”
If you find yourself a victim of Crash for Cash
- Stay calm and do not get involved in any arguments with the other party. Do not admit liability. Call the police immediately and inform them of your suspicions.
- Make a note of the other vehicle’s registration number, as well as the make and model. You should also note the time, date, location, and weather conditions because this could be relevant.
- Get the name, address and date of birth of the other driver and passengers. Be sure to make a note of where each passenger was sitting. If possible, film or photograph the accident scene.
- Make a note of any injury complaints or the absence of such complaints. Did they seem rehearsed or as if they were being read from a script?
- Get contact details from any witnesses. You should also contact your insurer as soon as possible with all of the information you gathered.