RAC Cars News


New Insurance Scam Warnings

By raccars Published

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The latest device of gangs of criminals exploiting insurance scams involves flashing their lights to signal other drivers they are safe to pull out at a junction, then crashing into them. This latest perversion of road manners can be almost impossible to prove after the event and is costing innocent drivers money.

Insurance scammers are developing ever more devious ways of creating false insurance claims, leading to motorists being warned to be suspicious of other drivers displaying apparently good manners, in what could turn out to be a 'flash for cash' opportunity. The Highway Code doesn't permit flashing headlights to let other drivers know it's safe to pull out, only to advise them of your presence. However, this has become accepted practice on the road.

Along with the personal expense and trauma, 'crash for cash' scams cost insurers up to £400 million every year, with motorists being penalised to the tune of £50-£100 on every insurance policy.

Police have reported added concern that increasingly sneaky criminals are making a point of aiming at newer and more valuable cars, driven by more vulnerable targets, including mothers carrying young children and older people. These victims are seen as less likely to provoke a roadside confrontation or put up resistance at the scene. Furthermore, if cases are taken to court, there's often very little evidence of liability, allowing many criminals to escape prosecution.

Recently three men were jailed in Britain after instigating a 'crash for cash' scam that went wrong, causing the death of an innocent victim after the intended target managed to avoid the criminals' intentions.

Recognized 'crash for cash' scams have included spontaneous slamming on of the brakes, forcing a rear end collision by the driver behind and resulting in profit worthy insurance claims for the instigator – some criminals have even been known to remove their brake light bulbs, so the unwary driver behind has even less chance to stop. In such cases, CCTV footage has been used by insurers and the police to prove fraud and invoke a prosecution.

The manufactured accidents earn the criminal gangs profit in various ways. Primarily, they can result in fraudulent claims for personal injury, particularly whiplash and sometimes even involving passengers who were not in the car at the time of the accident. Also, insurance companies are charged for lost earnings and issued with fake invoices for non-existent vehicle storage and recovery, repair and courtesy car hire.

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