By Stephanie Gonzalez
Nearly one in 10 people have bumped up the total of their home insurance claim, a survey shows.
The typical amount claimed by the 9 per cent who admitted lying on a claim in the last five years was £607, the study by Axa found.
This compares with 7 per cent of people who made the admission the previous year, suggesting that more people are trying to make extra cash this way amid high living costs and weak job prospects.
Axa, which said all home insurers have reported similar problems, believes around 200,000 customers have made inaccurate claims in the last year to try and increase their payout.
Televisions are a popular item to claim extra money on, especially before big sport tournaments, while cash and jewellery that the homeowners have never had also crop up regularly.
Some people claim for stolen designer goods, even though theirs were not the real deal, while others claim for pricey food such as steak and lobster even though their freezer really contained peas and fish fingers.
Axa said the industry had become a "soft target" in the eyes of many people trying to cope with rising bills and squeezed wages.