Fraud investigators are cracking down on dishonest or misleading car insurance applications, a leading Shropshire broker has warned.
Latest figures from the Association of British Insurers showed more than 180,000 ‘dishonest’ motor insurance applications were lodged in 2013.
And Anthony Hughes, from Henshalls insurance brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, said: “People often think that they can get insurance cover more cheaply by bending the truth, but they are more likely than ever to get found out
“Fraudulent applications are adding around £50 a year to the typical household insurance bill, and the Insurance Fraud Bureau is toughening up its stance. So the message to drivers is a clear one: The way to get the best deal is to play it straight with your insurer.”
Anthony said examples of fraudulent applications included a motorist with a poor credit rating using an alias to buy cover, a driver attempting to alter his licence to remove convictions, and someone who failed to disclose four previous claims – and a criminal conviction which led to a three-year jail sentence.
“There are chancers out there who take a punt, in the hope that it might shave a few pounds off their policy, and then there are those who deliberately provide false information in a cold and calculating way, to hide previous misdemeanours.
“Insurers have always accepted that innocent mistakes and oversights happen, but they are becoming increasingly concerned that some people think being less than honest is the way to get cheaper cover.”
Anthony said a new Insurance Fraud Register, and the soon-to-be-launched MyLicence programme, would address non-disclosure of motoring offences and make it harder than ever to deceive insurers.
“MyLicence is a collaboration between the DVLA, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the Association of British Insurers, and the Department for Transport. By sharing their research and databases, insurers will have access to far more accurate data about the type of licence an applicant holds, including convictions and penalty points.
“Open season on fraudulent insurance applications looks like it is coming to an end. And if it does, the price of policies for the innocent majority could soon be on their way down.”