Bogus insurance claims at record

Car accident
Image caption The majority of claims come from legitimate accidents on the roads

The number of fraudulent insurance claims made in the UK rose to a record high in 2009, according to insurers.

There were 122,000 detected fraudulent claims, valued at £840m, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said.

This was a 14% rise on the previous year, the figures show.

However, the group said it was unable to tell whether the rising number was the result of more bogus claims being made or better detection by insurers.

Homes and motors

The ABI said that 4% of all claims were bogus in 2009, a similar proportion to the previous year, suggesting there were more claims in total.

The figures showed that £410m of motor insurance fraud was detected, the highest figure by value.

The most common bogus or exaggerated cases involved home insurance.

Some notable frauds in personal liability claims included a claim for head injuries sustained by falling over, when they were actually caused by being hit on the head with a baseball bat during a fight.

"Our honest customers rightly object to having to pay higher premiums to subsidise the fraudulent minority, which is why insurers continue to up their game in the war on the cheats," said Nick Starling, of the ABI.

Separate figures from the Motor Insurers' Bureau suggested that the highest number of uninsured drivers could be found in London, followed by Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

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