The UK is in the midst of a bogus insurance claim epidemic. Premiums are rocketing for ordinary motorist because of fake whiplash claims made by fraudsters on our roads.
This isn’t helped by the infestation of no win; no fee “ambulance chasing” lawyers. You may receive a cold call from someone asking about your accident. Some insurers will even make money by selling your details to these third parties. The total cost of these dodgy claims is over £1.5Bn a year and it makes up to 5% of the cost of the average policy. Considerably more if you are the victim of such a swindle.
Regrettably, staged accidents are a feature on our roads. They not only cost you money but, they put the lives of innocent motorists at risk.
It is important to stay vigilant on the road, avoid driving like an idiot. By allowing plenty of space between you and the car in front, you will have plenty of time to respond to hazards like a staged crash. Scammers will often target drivers who appear distracted, checking their phones or adjusting their in car entertainment system, taking advantage of their lack of concentration to make them liable for the “accident”.
Advanced driver training will not only help you, but may also put you in good stead lowering your insurance premium. Even without ninja reflexes and sophisticated driving skills there are still things you can do to protect yourself and your premium.
What can you do to protect yourself and your premium if you have an accident?
After consulting a motoring barrister on the matter, it is advisable that all drivers should invest in a dash cam; it can provide strong evidence in court and is far more reliable than eye witness testimony alone. Be wary of anyone who approaches you too readily as a witness, they may be in on the scam.
After the incident you must stop your vehicle. In the heat of the moment, it is possible for the fight or flight response to occur. But, you are committing a criminal offence if you leave the scene of an accident where damage has been caused to a person or property. Always exchange details with the other driver and report the incident to the police within 24 hours.
Take pictures of any damage and make a note of everything the other driver says. If they claim to be fine, but change their mind later and file for whiplash instead, you can catch them out and win. If you suspect someone of insurance fraud be report it to the IFB Cheatline.
Don’t be afraid to go to court. It’s a matter of principle and you should not be made to pay the price for someone else’s flagrant disregard for life and property.
If you are injured yourself in an accident, keep a diary of the injury as a frame of reference for later. You are a person not a policy number, for more car related advice and entertainment be sure to check out our Facebook page.