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Fraudulent ‘slip and trip’ liability claims rise dramatically

According to industry figures the number of insurance liability frauds – including ‘slip and trip’ incidents has surged in the last year.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported there was a total of 19,800 bogus liability claims in 2014 - an increase of 75% compared with the previous year.

Total insurance fraud saw an increase of 9% last year and was worth a total of £1.32bn.

One of the fastest-growing fraudulent claims was for injuries caused by supposed negligence.

Caught red-handed

In one instance, Bradford resident - Waheed Iqbal, attempted to claim £10,000 in damages after deliberately “slipping” on a wet bag in a Lidl supermarket.

Claiming that he had suffered injuries to his head and body, Mr Iqbal was wheeled out of the store to an ambulance, however an investigation later revealed that he had asked the paramedics to stop and let him out before reaching the hospital.

Iqbal apparently got out of the vehicle unaided and went straight back to the store to speak to the manager about recording the incident.

Police also found that the fraudster had staged another accident in a gym, where he made a personal injury claim of £3,800.

Another man from Newcastle, Stephen Robinson, claimed he had broken his ankle by catching his foot on a drain. However, a YouTube video published by a neighbour clearly showed that his injury was sustained while jumping into shallow flood water.

Affect on Premiums

Motor insurance fraud remained the most common crime, which accounted for over half of the total, with 67,000 cases - seeing a rise of 12% since 2013.

However, the ABI says that fraudsters are now more likely than ever to get caught and that increased fraud detection is playing its part.

Last year improved detection measures helped to lower premiums for consumers, with the average price of a motor policy falling by 5%, and the average for a home contents policy by 3%.

However with an increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) announced in the 2015 budget, buyers are less likely to notice a price benefit this year.

James Dalton, the ABI's director of general insurance policy, pointed out the consequences of being convicted of insurance fraud:

”As well as the possibility of serving a custodial sentence, they will find it difficult to obtain vital financial services such as mortgages and loans, future job prospects are likely to be adversely impacted, and family relationships suffer”.

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