Car insurers clamping down on fraud

29 January 2013

A woman has been ordered to pay back £19,000 in fraudulent insurance claims after a court found she misled a car insurer over her injuries.

The defendant, who has not been named, tried to claim £100,000 from Ageas Insurance for severe back pain, spinal surgery and loss earnings following an accident in 2009.

But, after the insurance firm's claims team investigated, it was found the claimant, who was in a low-speed accident with her husband and two children, had a long history of back pain, had been involved in incidents of a similar nature before and already claimed disability benefit.

Ageas also discovered the claimant had displayed inconsistent behaviour, including taking her children on rollercoasters, on which people with back pain are advised not to ride.

In a recent judgement at Bournemouth and Poole County Court, the claimant was ordered to pay more than £19,000 in sums already received to Ageas as it became clear the claimant's injuries were not a result of the accident in 2009.

The insurance company, which has invested in in-house fraud detection over the past two years, said this is evidence that tackling fraud pays off.

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Sophisticated fraud

Mark Cliff, managing director of Ageas, said: "This particular case is a perfect example where our claim teams indentified and followed up on some key indicators of a fraudulent claim.

"We know that fraudsters are getting more sophisticated, accounting for an extra £50 on every premium, so we've got to keep up."

It is understood the claimant intends to appeal the judgement.

The government will bring new laws aimed at tackling the soaring numbers of whiplash claims into effect in April 2013.

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