Birmingham has been named the most prevalent area in the UK for ‘crash for cash’ scams in new figures released by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
A crash-for-cash incident is an insurance scam where fraudsters deliberately involve themselves in road traffic collisions in an effort to secure financial compensation from another party.
The study showed that Birmingham postcodes B25, B34 and B8 made up the top three high-risk areas, while Bradford’s BD7 and BD3 districts complete the the top five.
The IFB analysed 2.7 million motor insurance claims made across the UK over the last 15 months and found more than 170,000 that could be linked to alleged ‘crash for cash’ incidents.
Postcodes in Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, London and Luton were deemed key hotspots for the scam, which can range from fraudulent paperwork and vehicles being damaged behind closed doors to intentional road collisions with innocent drivers.
The IFB says that gangs are behind thousands of crash-for-cash incidents, making millions of pounds from fraudulent claims.
“These criminal gangs are often highly organised and put lives at risk. The amounts that they fraudulently claim can be huge, and can impact on the motor premiums paid by honest motorists,” said James Dalton, the director of general insurance policy at the Association of British Insurers.
“With more vehicles on the roads as we emerge from the pandemic restrictions, so the potential targets for these criminals increases. This is why it’s so important for all motorists to be on their guard.”
Induced car collisions at roundabouts and busy junctions are a common crash-for-cash technique. The IFB advises drivers to keep a safe distance in traffic and to stay alert for any unusual driving behaviour to avoid collisions.