Lawyer warning over ‘crash for cash’ epidemic

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A LEADING lawyer has warned that a growing number of Yorkshire companies are being targeted by ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters.

Undetected motor insurance fraud costs the industry up to £2bn a year adding, on average, an extra £44 a year to the insurance bill for every UK policy holder.

Litigation lawyer Marcus Davies has warned that commercial vehicles across Yorkshire are being hit by organised criminal gangs who stage traffic accidents and then submit false insurance claims for damages to vehicles and whiplash injuries.

The most recent regional ‘crash for cash’ hotspot league table published by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), placed Sheffield second behind Birmingham for the insurance scam.

Mr Davies, a senior litigation manager at the Sheffield office of international litigation and dispute resolution law firm Kennedys, stressed that motor fraud is not just hitting insurance premiums for individual motorists, but placing a huge burden on firms in the region. He said: “Each claim can net the fraudsters £30,000, something a business would feel keenly, especially when the economic climate is so challenging.

“However, there are things that businesses can do to protect their interests and to defend any claims made.”

Mr Davies recommends that businesses make their employees aware of the ‘advice to drivers’ on the IFB’s own website and seek expert advice. Cameras can also be fitted to vehicles.

More information can be found on the IFB website – www.insurancefraudbureau.org