Insurance fraud alive and well in the UK
OK. So times are tough. A double dip recession is apparently a bad thing and not something tasty with a lolly and two different types of sherbert. Good job we all have our morals and are fine upstanding members of society eh? We’ll pull through this- as millionaire David Cameron said, we’re in this together.
Or not. New research from Moneysupermarket.com, reveals that we are, in fact, becoming a nation of fraudsters, with 11% of respondents, an equivalent of 4.3 million people nationally, saying they would make a false home insurance claim. What’s worse is that over a third of those, a whole 4% of respondents say they would do so regardless of the economic climate, and the equivalent of almost 780,000 people admitted they had already done made a fraudulent claim. Tut tut.
Nice people, your neighbours. Particularly if you live in the North- people in the North East (15% and North West (14%) are most likely to make a false claim, compared with only 8% of those living in the South East. Insert obligatory scathing remark about how well-off everyone is in the South East.
In addition, men are more likely to make a fraudulent claim (14%), six percentage points higher than females. Those under the age of 35 are more likely to act dishonestly, with 21% making, or likely to make, a false claim compared to just 10% of over 45's.
Of course, the standard excuse is that insurance companies have so much money anyway, putting a little bit back into the pocket of a poor, struggling (or greedy) householder isn’t going to make much of a dent in mega profits. This is possibly true. However, insurance companies are quite partial to their lovely big profits, and will try and preserve these at all costs. This means that the people who lose out aren’t the shareholders (who would, most likely, be institutional investors like your pension fund anyway) but are the poor old householders whose insurance premium goes up and up every year so the insurance company covers its losses. Insurance fraud is also illegal. In case you hadn’t worked that out.
Peter Harrison, insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: "It's extremely concerning to discover so many people are contemplating making a false or exaggerated claim on their home insurance. With recent news the UK has slipped into a double-dip recession, household finances will undoubtedly be stretched, but no matter how tempting, fabricating a claim for a payout is illegal, and you could face being prosecuted as a result."
Insurance companies take fraud very seriously, no matter how big or small the amount being claimed for. If insurers are suspicious of a claim's validity it will be investigated with specialist detection processes and anti-fraud technology. Anyone caught and found guilty of insurance fraud would find it extremely difficult to get insurance cover in the future. Previous convictions for insurance fraud must be disclosed on application forms for any type of insurance. Insurance premiums will be much more expensive for someone guilty of making a false claim, and in some cases insurers may not be willing to offer cover at all.”
"For a homeowner, being declined buildings insurance would go against the terms of your mortgage, and for a driver, not having valid car insurance would leave them unable to take to the road as it's illegal to drive without valid insurance,” finished Mr Harrison, himself unable to compute that, much as 2 plus 2 equals 4, those scurrilous individuals who would make a fraudulent claim are unlikely to have any crisis of conscience of driving without insurance.
So there you have it. If you are thinking of making a fraudulent insurance claim-don’t. If your home insurance premiums go up on renewal- go and sort out your neighbours with the new 47” 3D TV…