Confused.com delves into the murky world of home insurance fraud
When the going gets tough, the tough sometimes get fraudulent.
Recent figures released by the ABI (Association of British Insurers) have shown a record level of fraudulent insurance claims, proving people are willing to use their insurance policies as a way of bringing in extra cash.
According to statistics, 2000 fraudulent claims are made every week, amounting to an estimated value of £14 million.
What is insurance fraud?
If you make an insurance claim for something that either hasn’t happened, or you know to be wrong, you’re committing insurance fraud.
How much fraud is there?
The most common form of fraudulent claims is for home insurance - 55,400 frauds were detected last year at an estimated value of £110 million.
Why are there so many claims?
There are more opportunities for fraudulent home insurance claims than for any other class of insurance.
Car insurance fraud, for example, requires a little planning to orchestrate a convincing accident or theft. However, spilling paint on your sofa in order to get a new three-piece suite, is much easier.
Who’s guilty of insurance fraud?
A YouGov survey of 3000 adults, showed one-in-five admitted they’d be tempted to cheat on their insurance - despite the likelihood of getting caught.
But if you think cheating’s a quick way to boost your bank account, think again – the insurance inspectors will be after you!
The crackdown on fraudsters
“Fraud thrives in a recession, so insurers are intensifying their crackdown on insurance cheats,” says Nick Starling, ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, on the ABI website.
Claimants may have to provide minute detail, and may even find forensic experts getting involved, all in an effort to stem the tide of fraudulent claims. And if found out, fraudsters may be blacklisted by insurers, or may even gain a criminal record.
Fraud makes home insurance more expensive
Cracking down also prevents honest policyholders paying the price.
“Fraud adds an extra £40 a year to the average premium,” says Starling, “which is why the harder we make it for the cheats, the more competitive premiums will be for honest customers.”
For more information on home cover, read Confused.com’s Home Insurance Buyer’s Guide.