‘Flash for cash’ car insurance scam costs £392 per year

Richard Wood.

Richard Wood. - Credit: supplied

Defence barrister Richard Wood tells of a ‘flash for cash’ car insurance scam that is costing £392m a year.

Police and insurance firms are warning motorists to be on the lookout for fraudsters who have come up with a new way of making fraudulent claims on insurance policies.

The criminals’ strategy has been dubbed ‘flash for cash’ – the fraudster will flash their lights to let a motorist out at a junction before deliberately crashing into them. There is nothing new in gangs engineering bogus road traffic collisions, but ‘flash for cash’ has recently been highlighted by insurance investigators.

The bogus incidents often lead to false personal injury claims, billing car insurance firms for loss of earnings or submitting fake bills for vehicle storage, recovery, repairs and replacement car hire. These ‘flash for cash’ scams can also lead to innocent drivers being put at risk of serious injury or even death if these manufactured incidents get out of control.

Fraudsters are likely to target vulnerable drivers who are less able to put up a fight afterwards, including elderly motorists or women with young children in the car. Metropolitan Police claim this is a growing problem that is costing the insurance industry, and consequently the insurance-paying motorist, £392m a year. That could mean an extra £50 to £100 on every motorist insurance premium.

If you are involved in a road traffic collision you are under a legal obligation to either stop at the scene or to report it. Failure to do so is a criminal offence which can lead to a driving ban or penalty points on your licence and/or a fine. If you feel you have been the victim of fraud that resulted in a motoring collision we advise you to seek help as soon as possible.

Richard Wood is a criminal defence barrister with extensive experience in the Court of Appeal, Crown court and magistrates court. Specialising in road traffic incidents he has dealt with a range of cases from death by dangerous driving to speeding allegations. If there is a defence, he will pursue it tenaciously on your behalf. Email richardwood@ealaw.co.uk or telephone 0800 7076004.

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