Birmingham tops the list of crash for cash hotspots in the UK for the second year running, according to the latest figures from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
Not only did Birmingham top the list, it represented 10 of the top 30 postcodes for the crash for cash crime, which involves fraudsters manufacturing collisions to claim a profit from insurance companies.
The three worst areas for the crime were Washwood Heath, Aston and Small Heath. In Bradford, Frizinghall and Manningham scored joint fourth in terms of the number of fraudulent claims.
Manchester came in third place above London, with the M8 postcode the worst offender. Oldham, Liverpool and Bolton were also crash for cash hotspots, with fifth, sixth and seventh place in the table, respectively. Sheffield came in eighth, ahead of Wakefield.
“We don’t know the exact reason Birmingham features so heavily in these surveys,” said Ben Fletcher, a director at the non-profit organisation Insurance Fraud Bureau setup to help detect fraud.
“Obviously, this is a nationwide problem and we have investigations that range from Kent to the North East, but large urban areas tend to be the focal points for these kind of crimes,” he added.
The IFB results factor in the last 12 months, within which there were 55,573 personal injury claims linked to the crash for cash scams at a cost to the insurance industry of around £340million a year.
These fake incidents mean motorists are expected to pay up to £90 more in the event of a whiplash claim, even if they had nothing to do with the crash. Insurance premiums increase for everyone, too.
Luckily, then, the data suggests staged accidents (where two cars are used to try and trick insurers) have decreased by 40 per cent although it appears there is a long way to go before the problem is under control.
A previous Aviva survey also found Birmingham to be the king of crash-based scams, with 25 per cent of its total 3,000 crash for cash claims in 2016 taking place there.
The UK government introduced new measures in 2016 to try and kerb the problem, which involved encouraging wider sharing of insurance data and collaboration between regulatory bodies.
This action followed on from the removal of the right to general damages for soft tissue injuries and increasing the upper limit from £1,000 to £5,000 for small claims court personal injury claims.
Top 10 crash for cash locations 2017
- Birmingham: B8 (postcode)
- Birmingham: B6
- Birmingham: B10
- Bradford: BD9
- Bradford: BD8
- Manchester: M8
- Bradford: BD3
- Birmingham: B25
- Oldham: OL8
- Birmingham: B11