‘Crash for cash’ is a growing trend where gangs are targeting vehicles to cause a deliberate collision for insurance fraud. Commercial vans are increasingly being targeted and with the average value of a crash for cash scheme being £30,000 this is a mounting threat for fleet owners. These Light Commercial Vehicles are being targeted as they are most likely to be fully insured and drivers are often working to strict deadlines and less likely to dispute the claim.
It is claimed that one in seven personal injury claims are linked to crash for cash scams, which in turn will threaten the safety of your workforce whilst also potentially increasing your fleet insurance premiums and affect your no claims.
Many gangs will either stage an accident by using another vehicle in front to drive erratically causing them to brake violently, or simply pull out and braking suddenly in front of a vehicle. Perhaps even more worryingly fraudsters have been known to flash an oncoming vehicle at a junction encouraging them to pull out.
So what can you do to protect your drivers whilst also trying to keep your fleet insurance premiums down?
Fit front facing cameras
In the wake of this worrying trend many insurers are offering premium discounts to fleets that are adopting video technology on board their vehicles. The use of front facing cameras can help significantly in proving liability in the fight against fraudulent claims and totally exonerate the driver. By placing stickers on your vehicle advertising on board cameras you can aim to deter any fraudulent activity before it happens.
Consider use of Telematics
Telematics technology can be used to record your driver’s behaviour before and during any potential incident. Many insurance companies are taking an interest in this type of technology as it can reduce false claims.
Carry a disposable camera in the glove box
Supplying your drivers with a disposable camera or phone and means of taking notes in the event of an accident can help to protect against fraud. Recording evidence at the scene such as road markings, number of passengers in the other vehicle, and any damage to vehicles can help to prove liability and suspicious behaviour from any other drivers involved.
Warn your drivers of the increasing threat of crash for cash schemes and reinforce the safe rules of driving; including looking beyond the car in front, never tailgating, and never driving when over-tired to guarantee quick reactions.
Mark is a commercial insurance specialist. Starting work in the insurance profession in 1985 he has over 30 years’ experience in all areas of commercial insurance. As National Sales Manager for Bluedrop Services, Mark currently specialises in Motor Fleet Insurance and offers advice and support to customers in this area.