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Insurance fraud – it's not funny and it's costing you and me!

It seems that when times get lean, people get mean. Why do they not, though, understand that lying to insurance companies to get money out of them is actually stealing? Perhaps they simply don't care. The law calls it fraud, and take a very dim view of this indeed. It is the good, law abiding citizens who end up paying for the cheats as everyone's insurance premiums increase to cover the pay outs demanded.

The insurance industry seems to have been seen as a 'soft target' for people wanting to make extra cash as they see their income go less and less far. A large insurance company has recently carried out some research and found that 9% of people who said they had made a claim had exaggerated it – typically adding an extra £607 to their claim totals. Where do these people think the money comes from? This figure is up from around 7% of people who said they had bumped-up a claim when a similar study was carried out around twelve months ago.

Televisions (particularly just before major sporting events!), jewellery and cash (which never existed) are the most commonly exaggerated claims. Other stated they had designer goods stolen when they were actually fakes and other people claimed their freezer was stuffed to the rafters with fine dining ingredients such as lobster and steak rather than frozen fish fingers and burgers!

Less than half (45%) of the people surveyed consider an exaggerated claim to be dishonest and more than one in 10 people would be more likely to try to bump up a claim than they were three years ago. So we are becoming more dishonest as time goes by! Men, it would appear, are nearly twice as likely to have made an exaggerated claim than women: around 12% of men who had made a claim at some point said they have 'stretched the truth' – compared with around 6% of women.

No matter what the statistics, lying about what you have lost or had damaged when making an insurance claim is illegal. It is fraud – and if you are caught the penalties are stiff. You risk having the entire claim rejected as well as finding it hard to get insurance in the future. You can also be prosecuted. This is not a victimless crime because honest customers end up footing the bill through higher premiums as insurers pass on the additional costs of the inflated claim, and this has been calculated as adding as much as £13 to every home insurance policy.

However, if you have a genuine claim, you want someone to deal with it sympathetically, professionally and speedily for you. If you buy your home and contents insurance from Westhill Insurance Services, this is what you will get. Their friendly team of advisors will explain exactly what you need to do regarding your claim and will make the whole claims experience as painless as possible. Westhill Insurance Services is an independent company and so they shop around to find the best possible insurance policy to suit your needs. So whether you need vehicle insurance, buildings and/or contents, commercial insurance – or indeed any insurance at all, make Westhill Insurance Services your first call: you will probably find they will be the only call you need to make!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 8th March, 2012