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The dangers of trying to fiddle car insurance

Car insurance companies have seen it all before and if you make an insurance claim on a policy based on incorrect information, your claim can not only be denied, but you may also lose your policy and experience difficulty getting another. This stern warning has recently been issued to the public to notify them of the consequences of all kinds of so called ’ soft fraud” commonly practiced on insurance providers.

Insurance Fraud

The typical perpetrators of these crimes are not hardened criminals, but ordinary everyday people who struggle to make ends meet. Industry experts estimate the cost to you, the customer, at almost ?50 a year, seen by increases in premiums, and warn that the results for those who engage in these practices are far reaching, involving a court appearance and a criminal conviction for insurance fraud in some cases.

The Fronting Fraud

The definition of fronting is a situation where a parent or older person claims to be the main driver of a vehicle to reduce insurance costs for the younger and less experienced,” real,” driver. These practices save the young person hundreds of pounds a year in insurance payments, but if a serious accident occurs, or they are caught doing this, the cost is much higher.

The Consequences of Fronting

If proven, and this is is often easy, those involved can be charged with insurance fraud, may be liable for personal injuries, should an accident occur when the policy is invalidated by false information and have trouble getting insurance at any price for many years after the incident. The young driver will be treated in the same way as one who drives without insurance and have six penalty points applied to their driving licences as well as having to pay a hefty fine.

Other Issues Raised by Fronting

Insurance companies have been criticized by consumer bodies who complain they make online purchase of insurance too easy and too open to abuse. Some measures have been taken to eradicate this practice, by mandating car ownership and the main driver for insurance is the same person. This may help to reduce the millions of cases where fronting is suspected.

In a different problem related to fronting, the financial ombudsman’s department for insurance complaints report they are seeing many more claims involving older and younger named drivers. If your car is stolen from a location that indicates your child, rather than you, are the main driver, you should be aware that the burden of proof seems to have shifted on to claimants, in many cases.

Lying about Age

After the age of 25, insurers consider you a better risk. This seemingly arbitrary age is, of course, backed by hard statistics that fewer over that age are involved in crashes. That is why it is a really stupid move to lie about your age, when under 25, because you are more likely to get caught while involved in one of those accidents your age group are more likely to experience. This is very easy to spot; a code giving your date of birth is in your driving licence number, the number can be checked against a database and most insurers will want it before they pay out on a claim (although not necessarily when they take your money off you when you first buy the policy!).

Omitting to Report Driving Offences

Another common way to get a lower insurance quote involves omitting to mention all the points adding up on your driving licence. Shaving a few off is as bad as admitting to none of them, since they both constitute insurance fraud and are punishable by a fine and court appearance. This leaves a criminal record to count against you for years, and may severely affect university choices, job prospects and travel arrangements in your future. Again very easy to be found out, all claims end up on a database which the insurers will routinely check before making a pay-out.

The Big Picture

Insurers are committing millions of pounds in joint efforts to catch both perpetrators of big and small insurance frauds. The chances of getting caught and punished have never been so high. What may seem like an unimportant omission to save a few hundred pounds may turn into a nightmare when the bills for treatments for serious injuries are your responsibility, and the law beckons ......


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