VAN drivers need to be aware of a new trend that’s been spotted in ‘crash for cash’ frauds.
Crash for cash is when criminals stage a road accident, and then make money out of the consequent, fraudulent, insurance claim – usually with a personal injury element. It’s become a scourge in recent years.
New research on behalf of solicitors Hill Dickinson by APU shows that almost a third of these deliberate collisions over the last year have involved vans, a proportion that suggests that ‘white van man’ is being deliberately targeted by criminal gangs.
Only the Transit is among the top 20 vehicles involved in legitimate claims – but 6 vans are in the top 20 involved in scams
So while only one van – the Transit and therefore the most numerous – appears in the top 20 vehicles involved in legitimate insurance claims, no less than six vans appear in the top 20 vehicles involved in what the industry calls ‘induced’ claims.
Here the Transit is joined by the Sprinter, Vivaro, Berlingo, VW Transporter and tippers. Together they account for 31% of induced claims.
Neil Thomas of APU is a former Detective Inspector of West Midlands police and he says that this is, “Yet another example of how criminal fraud gangs are becoming more sophisticated – they are thinking quite hard about exactly who they target on the roads and it’s based on solid logic.
“Britain’s LCV drivers are a hard-working lot and are very often pushed for time, so they are less likely to stand by the side of the road arguing the case about a collision.
“The criminals are banking on the fact that they will simply exchange insurance details and move on. It’s cynical but it works.”
Hill Dickinson’s involvement in the research stems from its Netfoil database which allows it to analyse fraud trends.
Peter Oakes, Head of Fraud at Hill Dickinson commented: “Fraud generally and crash for cash incidents are undoubtedly still on the increase across the UK – with fraudsters looking to take advantage and exploit the weaknesses of the industry.
“Over 17% of induced accidents are perpetrated by individuals who have previously committed fraud, and they are increasingly turning their attention to commercial vehicles.”