Crash for cash

Crash for cash fraud spikes in Scotland

5 min

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Fraudsters exploit different compensation structure in Scotland by driving north of the border to induce accidents with innocent motorists

Car crash

LV= General Insurance is urging drivers to watch out for crash for cash fraud and spot the signs, specifically those entering Scotland via the M6. The warning comes as LV= has seen a 60%* increase in personal injury claims in Scotland over the course of a year, which is linked to a fraudulent crime called crash for cash. 

Crash for cash is an induced accident where fraudsters target innocent motorists to become the ‘at fault driver’, for example by deliberately slamming on the brakes of their car so the car behind crashes into them. 

Currently, LV= is dealing with ten organised fraud investigations with a value of £2 million. Examples include policies taken out at addresses in England, with vehicles driven over the border into Scotland for the purpose of having an accident. LV= is currently working with Police Scotland and the Insurance Fraud Bureau to tackle the issue. 

The significant rise has been prompted by whiplash reforms which now apply in England and Wales, and have been introduced to reduce the amount of compensation drivers are entitled to following a low value road traffic accident. The rules also limit the amount of legal fees which are recoverable, and are designed to reduce insurance costs for honest motorists.

However, these rules do not apply in Scotland, and this extra cash is vital for criminal gangs who rely on fraudulent crime to make money. Therefore, they’re using the M6 route into Scotland to pray on innocent victims, with the spike in claims demonstrating just how persist fraudsters can be in evolving their crimes. 

Hotspots which fork off the M6 onto main road corridors in Dumfries and Ayrshire include the A70, A74, A75, A76, M74, however accidents have also been identified in the Greater Glasgow area. The fraudsters are also known to be having multiple accidents in the same vehicles using different identities. The same car was found to have caused a second accident just 12 days after its first attempt.

Top tips to spot crash for cash   

  • Look out for any potential hazards, including unusual driving behaviour.
  • Be cautious when pulling out of a side road or roundabouts, as fraudsters have been known to encourage drivers to pull out then deliberately speed up to cause a collision.
  • If other drivers or their passengers are behaving suspiciously, or the condition of their vehicle is poor with pre-existing damage, stay calm and keep back.
  • If in an accident and it’s safe to do so, try to take photos of the car damage, location and people involved as well noting down how many passengers are in the other car so fraudsters can’t exaggerate damage or injuries.
  • At the scene of an accident check for witnesses and any CCTV or dashcam footage which may help prove what happened. 

* Increase of total personal injury claims received by LV= General Insurance between 2021-2022. 

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