Insurers Expose £1.3bn In Fraudulent Claims
A record £1.3bn worth of fraudulent insurance claims were uncovered last year as the industry continues to crack down on cheats.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said some £3.5m worth of dishonest claims are uncovered every day.
The figures show an 18% increase in the value of fraudulent claims detected in 2012.
In 2013, some 118,599 fraudulent or exaggerated claims were detected, the equivalent of more than 2,000 each week.
Motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common dishonest claims to be uncovered.
The average value of fraud detected across all kinds of insurance products was £10,813.
Aidan Kerr, the ABI's assistant director, said: "The message is clear: never has it been harder to get away with committing insurance fraud.
"Never have the penalties - ranging from a custodial sentence and a criminal record, to difficulties in obtaining financial products in the future - been so severe."
The ABI says the figures also reveal a "significant"†rise in the number of people reporting suspected fraudsters.
Calls from members of the public reporting frauds to the Insurance Fraud Bureau's "cheatline" rose by one third (32%) in 2013 compared with the previous year.
Malcolm Tarling, a spokesman for the ABI, said the industry has also seen an increase in the number of "staged accidents".
This dangerous practice sees fraudsters cause deliberate accidents, often with innocent motorists, in order to cause injuries and claim insurance.
"Staged accidents, which are extremely serious, involve criminal gangs deliberately staging an accident, normally involving an innocent motorist,"†Mr Tarling said.
"These are increasingly becoming more commonplace and the industry is actively working very hard to crack down on them."
One insurer, AA Insurance, said it identifies more than 100 fraud attempts each week.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: "These figures are encouraging because they reflect the growing success of the insurance industry in the war against fraud, rather than more fraud taking place.
"This should send a strong signal to anyone thinking of trying it on."