Latest NewsMonday 23 October 2017
Honest Oxford is a big contrast to ‘crash for cash’ hotspots
As solicitors with decades of experience dealing with road accident claims, Oxford Accident Solicitors have rarely come across anything but genuine claimants in our home town. However, a new report suggests that fraudulent claims are rife in many other cities.
The 30 UK postcodes where the most drivers have fallen victim to ‘crash for cash’ scams in the last year have been revealed - and it doesn’t make great reading if you live in the Midlands or the North of England.
According to data from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), Birmingham is the UK’s ‘crash for cash’ hotspot with the three highest risk places in the country. In fact, five Birmingham postcodes are among the top 10 locations where most fraudulent accidents have been masterminded.
“A few years ago the insurance industry started properly recording and sharing car accident information,” says Robert Millbourn of Oxford Accident Solicitors. “Catching the cheats is now a lot easier and the IFB study shows the locations that have been targeted. Thankfully Oxford does not figure at all.”
While Birmingham postcodes were most prominent, the Manchester postal area was also a regular in the list with five appearances in the top 30. Neighbouring Oldham and Bolton also appeared in the list, compounding the misery for drivers in the north west.
The IFB hopes to use the new data to identify the areas being targeted to carry out these scams, working closely with the police and insurers to stem the spate of deliberate accidents and put the criminals responsible for them behind bars.
The term ‘crash for cash’ is defined as where an individual or group stage an accident by deliberately damaging a vehicle, often with a sledge hammer or blunt object, or by provoking a collision on the road.
Criminal gangs have been found to have worked in different vehicles, flanking the 'target' vehicle with the front one braking suddenly to cause an accident. The IFB says such scams cost the insurance industry £336 million each year through false personal injury and credit hire claims.
Says Mr Millbourn: “Some people might think these scams are a harmless way to beat the system and get an easy pay out with minimal risk, but fraudsters are taking vehicles out on public roads and forcing innocent people into collisions. We know of at least one fatality as a result of these incredibly dangerous incidents.”
“It’s imperative that road users are aware of them, exercise appropriate caution and if they believe they've been a victim, report it as soon as they can. Thankfully Oxford is not a ‘cash for crash’ hotspot and at Oxford Accident Solicitors our high success rate is based on helping genuine claimants.”
Oxford Accident Solicitors offer a FREE initial consultation that will review your road traffic accident and establish if you have a justifiable claim. Please contact us today on 01793 425595 to arrange an appointment with one of our friendly lawyers.