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Dont be a victim – keep safe on the highways and byways

‘Crash for cash’ and ‘flash for cash’ are two scams well known to the police and the insurance industry. However, recent research indicates that in the past five years more than 300,000 ‘crash for cash’ accidents have been deliberately staged. That is more than 1,000 fraudulent crashes every week. It would appear that fraudsters are choosing young women to carry out the scams as they believe they are less likely to cause a fuss about the accident. In the past two years, 56% of victims were female and 59% were 34 or under.

There has also been an increase in the amount of dishonest people exaggerating the seriousness of their accident or their injuries in an attempt to get a higher payout. One in three drivers (32%) who have been involved in an accident in the past two years said the other party exaggerated the circumstances of the collision, purely to secure a bigger payout.

If you look at the statistics, there are tens of thousands of staged accidents – and these put the lives of innocent motorists at risk. On top of this we must remember that fraud is not a victimless crime because honest, law abiding motorists end up paying more in premiums whilst the fraudsters receive often hefty payouts. The insurance sector has tightened up its act and made it as difficult as possible for people to commit crime, and the noose is being tightened all the time.

There are three main types of staged accidents which are worth keeping a sharp eye out for:

  1. The “slam-on” – this is where the fraudster will slam on their brakes for no apparent reason, thus causing the motorist behind to drive into the back of them. Often the fraudster will have disconnected their brake lights so that the motorist behind has no warning that they are slowing down. Over 30,000 accident victims were involved in staged rear-end shunts in 2013.
  2. The “flash for cash” scam – this is where the fraudster flashes their headlight to their victim to let them merge into traffic – but then drives ahead and crashes into the back of their vehicle. Almost 3% of motorists involved in cast accidents in the past year believe they were the target of this scam.
  3. The “full-car crash” scam – here the fraudster takes a full vehicle load of passengers with him and then induces an accident with another vehicle. The fraudsters then make multiple claims for personal injuries – and these often far out weight the cost of repairing the vehicle involved.

Shocking statistics and wicked practices. It pays to be as vigilant as you can on the roads always – but then you hope that people are not going to be deliberately driving into you! Insurance is key when motoring, make sure you have the right type of insurance to meet your vehicle requirements, as well as your life style. Pick up the phone and speak with one our friendly team at Westhill Insurance Services. With us on your side, should these despicable fraudsters target you, you will know you are properly insured and well placed to deal with the problem. We will be there for you with advice and guidance to get you back on the road as fast as possible.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 24th March, 2014