A number of us are guilty of that all too common accident in which we fail to see the car in front of us braking, causing us to collide into the back of them. It’s an unfortunate thing to happen but imagine if that driver braked on purpose with the intention of you crashing into them. Why on earth would someone do a crazy thing like that you might ask? The answer is the same reason people do crazy things all the time; for money of course.
An insurance fraud dubbed ‘cash for crash’ is sweeping across the UK as more fraudsters are targeting commercial fleets to gain insurance payouts. The scam involves a driver who purposely breaks while travelling at high speed causing the following driver to go into the back of them.
The next time you see all the passengers in the car there’s a high chance they will all be wearing neck braces and complaining about their severe “whiplash”. It is hard for insurance companies to prove these injuries are exaggerated as the doctors diagnosis is often formulated from the patients self described symptoms.
These foolish people not only put road users at risk but also are pushing up premium prices. It is estimated that insurance premiums have risen by £90 as a result of people carrying out fraudulent crashes. Ben Fletcher, Insurance Fraud Bureau director said: “Crash for cash is a national problem that costs almost £400m each year and puts innocent road users in harm’s way.”
Commercial fleets have been particularly hit hard by the scam as the companies may prefer to pay a settlement instead of fit the cases in court. Recently a bus company in Birmingham has had to close down one of their routes as ‘cash for crash’ scammers targeted them 15 times in 2 years. The company paid out £25,000 to avoid the costs of fighting each case in court. Something that potentially their Commercial Vehicle Insurance could have covered!
Last year alone there were 59,900 fake car claims in which people were caught in the act doing things such as going golfing after receiving a payout for a damaged knee and one family was so enthralled with the scam that they claimed £514,000 from 25 crashes… by crash 25 I’m sure someone must have been getting suspicious with the amount of crashes the family had had.
Advice I can give for commercial drivers to tackle this problem is to install a dash cam to catch these people in the act. Also it must be said that if you do drive into the back of someone then perhaps you were driving too close to them in the first place.