Insurance companies urged to look closer

POLICE have told motor insurance companies they could save up to £340m a year if they looked at claims more closely.

Gwent Police recently brought more than 80 fraudsters to justice in Caerphilly borough in one of the largest ‘crash for cash’ scams in the UK. Now they’re urging insurance companies to help them combat this practice by getting a single engineer to examine both cars involved in the collision.

Senior collisions investigator at Gwent Police, PC Chris Goddard, said, ‘Currently the insurance companies just look at one vehicle and then the other insurance company will have a look at the other vehicle and not exchange that common thread.’

He believes that some fraudulent claims could be discovered if the same engineer was able to examine and compare both vehicles.

Sue Evans, Admiral insurance’s head of fraud, said, ‘Sometimes there would be some evidence that might not come out just because there are two different sets of eyes looking at it.

‘Our aim is always to get one of the engineers to look at both reports to try and draw the consistency points together.

‘I think we’ve always looked at that point but commercially, sometimes, it’s not possible to do it.’

Detective sergeant Andy Cullen led the investigation in Wales until he retired two years ago. He said, ‘The insurance industry could quite easily tackle these issues in some respects just at the point of the reporting of a collision: what was the extent of the damage? Do you have photographs? If somebody was hurt was it reported to the police?

‘Throughout the inquiry we only identified two collisions which had been reported to the police out of over 70.’