British drivers have been told not to risk a criminal record by lying about their car insurance after new data revealed a near-50 per cent rise in fraud cases in a single year.
Fraudulent claims in motor insurance increased by 45 per cent in 2018, with young drivers responsible for the majority of offences, according to Cifas – the UK’s largest fraud prevention service.
The release of the statistics is part of Cifas’ ‘Faces of Fraud’ campaign which warns drivers against the lies, exaggerations, deceptions and seemingly harmless opportunities to make some quick cash or get a better deal that are actually criminal acts.
One of the most well-known types of car insurance fraud – fronting – fell overall but there was a significant rise (18 per cent) in the number of 21-30-year-olds caught committing it and they accounted for more than half of all cases (58 per cent).
Fronting is where a driver with a lower risk rating, such as a parent, claims to be the main driver of a vehicle when it is actually a younger or higher-risk person in a bid to cut premium costs.
Cifas has warned that trying to cheat the insurance system can have serious consequences for motorists. As well as insurers refusing to pay out on claims and cancelling a policy, you could find it harder to get insurance in future or even risk having the case reported to the police and face prosecution and even a jail sentence.
Mike Haley, chief executive officer of Cifas, said: “False insurance claim fraud and fronting insurance policies fraud are often seen as an easy way to make a bit of money without hurting anyone.
“Yet the idea that fraud is a victimless crime is completely false. First, false insurance claims and fronting insurance policies are illegal. They can impact your life and career, making it near-impossible to buy insurance in the future and can even lead to a criminal record.
“Second, committing fraud hurts everyone. Insurers have to spend longer reviewing insurance claims and policy requests, premiums go up, and everyone loses out.”
“While the overall downturn in fronting insurance policies is a positive sign, the fact that young people are increasingly more likely to commit that type of fraud highlights the need for continuing education. More needs to be done to raise awareness about the harm of fraud and financial crime.”