Insurance fraud skyrockets with motorbike ‘crash for cash’ claims up 60-fold

Allianz’s personal lines business has reported a sharp increase in insurance fraud, particularly in ‘crash for cash’ fraud involving motorbikes and scooters. The insurer’s data indicates that crash for cash has increased a staggering 60 times between January – December 2023.

Crash for cash scammers cause an accident so that they can blame the innocent driver. In this case, the crime involves an induced accident – involving one vehicle and one motorbike or scooter driven by a criminal – deliberately creating a crash involving unsuspecting motorists.

The fraud involves motorbikes and scooters attempting to purposefully get ‘hit’ to make an insurance claim. For example, targeting drivers as they park, riding past just as the driver opens the car door so that it hits the motorbike to make it appear as if it’s the drivers’ fault.

Allianz’s claims data finds that four in ten of these accidents happen during the school run and rush hour, between 3-7pm. Lunchtime errands also seems to be prime time for fraudsters, with 27% of collisions happening between 11am-2pm, and 27% of incidents also occurring on a Wednesday.

Londoners bear the brunt of the problem, with over half of incidents taking place in Greater London. South London accounts for 42% of the exposure, with North London accounting for 26%. Croydon, in South London is the biggest insurance fraud hotspot accounting for 42%, alongside Enfield in North London and certain locations in Southwest London.

2Top 15 crash for cash UK hotspots in order of crime based on LV= claims data:
Central London

Matt Crabtree, Head of Financial Crime Intelligence & Investigation Strategy at Allianz personal lines business comments: “Organised criminal gangs have evolved their tactics, so as well as targeting large cities which they’ve previously done, we’re also seeing them move around and use small clusters across wider areas to try and avoid detection. This includes small towns and the outskirts of main cities such as Thornton Heath in London and Hagley in Birmingham, as well as the busy city centre itself.
“It’s shocking that we’ve seen a 60-fold increase in the number of motorbike ‘crash for cash’ claims in 2023. Innocent victims are being physically and emotionally affected by this dangerous crime, and this is also putting young children, drivers, and passers-by at significant risk. We’re committed to working with the police to bring these criminals to justice.”

Jon Radford, Head of Intelligence, Investigations & Data Services at the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said: “Crash for cash scams take place across all corners of the UK and have a devastating impact on innocent road users, so we urge the public to be vigilant to signs of this dangerous activity. We’re collaborating closely with insurers and the police to help bring these reckless insurance fraudsters to justice. If anyone believes they have evidence of a crash for cash scam they can report it to our confidential CheatLine.”

Allianz has provided valuable advice for motorists to help identify and avoid becoming victims of ‘crash for cash’ fraud:

Potential hazards: Be vigilant for unusual driving behaviour and exercise caution at junctions and when pulling from parked positions or side roads. Stay calm and maintain distance if you notice suspicious behaviour or pre-existing vehicle damage.
Look for damage and take photos: Document the scene and any vehicle damage. We often see claims inflated when presented so having pictures at the time of the collision can be vital.
Take the details: Obtain the rider’s name, address, phone number, vehicle registration and if possible write down a description of the bike and its rider.
Collect evidence: Seek witnesses and look around for any available CCTV, dashcam or doorbell cameras that may have footage at the accident.
Contact your insurer: Inform your insurer and report any suspicions to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline.

%d bloggers like this: