ANTI-MOTOR FRAUD UNIT STALLS CRASH FOR CASH CONMEN







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: January 26, 2012
Categories:

  • More than £5m worth of bogus claims stymied
  • Assists in 15 convictions in ‘most successful period ever’

A unique investigation team is fighting back against ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters and other bogus claimants, having completed its most productive period to date, with more than £5 million worth of bogus claims thwarted in 2011.

Fifteen individuals involved in motor-related fraud or criminal activity were successfully prosecuted in the last quarter of 2011 thanks to Accident Exchange’s innovative APU (Asset Protection Unit) squad, helping to thwart bogus claims which drive up insurance premiums to the tune of £44*.

The convictions, which totalled more than 80 years of imprisonment, represent APU’s most prolific spell tackling the £350m motor fraud crisis since its inception in 2007.

The specialist APU team of former police officers and forensic data and behavioural analysts, use an in-house developed, multi-layered software platform to highlight suspect claims and possible fraudulent activity. Across 2011, it prevented insurers having to pay-out in excess of £5m on bogus motor claims; the largest, a staggering £103,000 in damages and costs, was recorded in December.

According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau, undetected general insurance claims fraud is now nearing £2bn annually – £350m of which is motor related – adding an average of £44 to motor premiums.

APU remains unique to the industry, helping insurers, solicitors and the authorities thwart complex “crash for cash” gangs and motor fraud in general. It also has an enviable track record assisting Police Forces across the country to successfully prosecute career criminals. One notable case in November last year saw a much-sought after individual with 120 previous convictions imprisoned for 4 years as a result of evidence secured by the team.

Steve Evans, Chief Executive of Accident Exchange, said: “APU’s approach, a blend of technology and highly skilled former Police officers, is unique to the industry.

“Its success rate is incredible, denting the criminal practices of organised gangs and individuals to the betterment of all of the law-abiding motorists who pay insurance premiums in good faith.”

The recent spate of APU successes follows on the heels of a two-year unilateral investigation by Accident Exchange into the data produced by motor consultancy, Autofocus, and used by insurers and their legal representatives in the Courts.

In December, Lord Justice Aikens said that there was sufficient evidence to suggest ‘systematic fraud’ and ‘systemic slipshod’ work had prevented the innocent motorist receiving a fair trial.

As a result, Accident Exchange currently re-opening nearly 5,000 cases where solicitors acting for insurers had used information provided by Autofocus to defend ‘base hire’ rates (BHR).