Dealership’s fleet targeted by fraudsters

A dealership in the Midlands has fought back against fraudsters who were making up to 40 bogus claims a year.

Research Garage in Nuneaton was targeted because criminal gangs presumed its branded repair vans, courtesy cars and test vehicles would be a soft touch for false claims. Scams would involve deliberately backing into Research Garage vans or cars when in traffic and then claiming it was a rear-end shunt. There were even bogus claims by pedestrians saying that they had been knocked over by Research Garage vehicles.

Without contrary evidence, insurers paid up without dispute.

However, Research Garage has managed to completely eradicate bogus claims in less than a year by installing SmartWitness forward-facing KP1 cameras in all its fleet vehicles. The technology has sensors to detect any bump, and then sends video footage plus detailed incident data – speed and force of impact, location, date and time – to the insurer via the 3G/4G dongle seconds after a collision.

Research Garage managing director Mick Norcia said, ‘We would have around 40 bogus claims a year, which ranged from faked rear-end shunts to pedestrians claiming they’d been hit by courtesy cars. In almost all cases previously we would have to claim on our insurance as we were not able to defend against the allegations.

‘Since we installed the SmartWitness KP1 cameras in all our fleet vehicles we have reduced bogus claims to zero. We still have had just the same number of claims against us this year, but every single time we have had evidence to prove we were not at fault. In the case of cash-for-crash we have been able to show very clearly that the other driver was to blame.’