Some 8% of drivers have admitted to committing insurance fraud and 6% would consider telling white lies to cut their renewal premium, according to a new survey.
Attitudes to insurance fraud vary depending on the age of motorist, with young adults 19 times more likely to try to defraud their insurer than those aged 55 and over. And almost one in five young adults admit to falsifying information on home or car insurance in order to get a cheaper quote, according to the report by Kwik Fit Insurance Service.
And it's not just on renewing their insurance that young Brits try to rip off insurers - one in 10 of 18- to 34-year olds admit they would be likely to exaggerate a claim in order to get a bigger payout from their insurance company, compared with 3% of those aged 55-plus.
The insurer suggests that younger Brits may be more prepared to be less than honest when giving information to their insurers because they don't realise the legal implications: some 88% of 18- to 34-year olds understand that giving false information to an insurance provider is classified as 'insurance fraud', compared with 95% in the over-55s age group.
Some 13% of those who have car or home insurance don't consider exaggerating an insurance claim to receive a higher payout as fraud, and 17% don't realise that hiding criminal driving convictions from an insurer could have legal consequences.
Unsurprisingly, more than half of those with car or home insurance don't think it's fair for insurers to put up premiums to cover the cost of fraud – despite the fact that 78% were aware of the direct link between fraud and insurance premiums. Latest figures from the
Association of British Insurers reveal that fraud cost the insurance industry £1.3 billion in 2013.
People committing insurance fraud could be unmasked because acquaintances may report them to the insurers or police. More than a fifth of those who have car or home insurance know someone who has committed insurance fraud, and 14% would consider reporting them anonymously.
Jason Banwell, managing director at Kwik Fit Insurance Service, said: "The 6% drivers who will consider committing insurance fraud to save money are putting themselves directly in the sight of criminal investigators. Insurance fraud is no joke. Alongside costing the industry money, customers are putting themselves at risk by not having adequate levels of cover.
"Britons need to be aware of the link between giving false information to insurers and a rise in insurance premiums while the insurance industry has to take responsibility for educating customers and doing everything possible to limit the impact of fraud – now it's time for a new era of honesty in order to achieve the best deal for all."
Common questions car owners give false information about include:
1. Where will the car be kept overnight usually and during the day?
2. How many miles a year do you drive?
3. Will the car be used for social purposes only, rather than commuting to a place of work too?
4. What is the value of your car?
5. Has the car been modified?