Revealed: the UK’s worst crash for cash hotspots
As unfortunate as it is, insurance fraud tactics like “crash-for-cash” still thrive today. While no one can predict if and when this could happen to them, it does help to be informed as to where these events occur most frequently. At Van Discount, we want to make that easier for our customers, so not only are we committed to providing you with the very best new van deals, but we’ve also compiled the top five locations in the UK where you’re most likely to be faced with a “crash-for-cash” scheme so you can remain informed and aware while out on the road.
What exactly is crash-for-cash
The term “crash-for-cash” refers to fraudulent incidents where a collision is staged intentionally by one party to make insurance claims. This dangerous scheme endangers innocent drivers and costs insurance companies millions of pounds every year. So, what appears to be an ordinary car accident is planned and executed by fraudsters who aim to secure large insurance payouts through dishonesty without any regard for the other drivers’ physical, emotional and financial well-being.
This type of scam is so prevalent that the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s analysis of 2.7 million motor insurance claims across the UK between 2019 and 2020 identified that over 170,000 claims could be linked to suspected “crash-for-cash” schemes.
How does a crash-for-cash scheme work?
Even though these cons are incredibly illegal and have serious consequences, including criminal charges and imprisonment for those involved, it doesn’t stop these emboldened criminals from putting others in harm’s way. Generally, the crash-for-cash con follows a typical pattern of the following stages:
Step 1: The staging of the accident. The first step for the fraudster is to cause a car accident or stage a fake collision intentionally. This usually results from suddenly slamming on the brakes in front of an unsuspecting driver or purposefully colliding with another vehicle.
Step 2: Then, the fraudster and their accomplices will claim they have sustained injuries from the collision, like whiplash or other soft tissue injuries that are hard to disprove.
Step 3: Many scammers even use fake witnesses or accomplices who corroborate their version of events and injuries, making it difficult for insurance companies and other drivers to disprove their claims.
Step 4: The scammers then make fraudulent claims for vehicle damage and personal injury compensation with their insurance company in order to receive financial compensation.
Step 5: And finally, the insurance companies will often choose to simply settle the claims with the scammers instead of going through time-consuming and costly legal procedures. This approach can sometimes encourage fraudulent behaviour.
Where are the worst spots in the UK for crash-for-cash?
Now that you have a good understanding of what crash-for-cash is and how it works let’s take a look at the five locations in the UK where these fraudulent schemes are most likely to occur based on available data.
According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s analysis, Birmingham holds the highest prevalence of dangerous “crash-for-cash” schemes in the UK. The RAC also confirm that postcodes in Bradford, Walsall, Blackburn and Romford also feature in the top 10 worst spots for these scams, with parts of Wakefield, Oldham, Halifax, Manchester, Leeds, London, Luton, High Wycombe and Ilford also featuring on their top 30 list of prominent areas. Here is that list condensed to the 14 most prominent towns and cities for crash-for-cash scams and the postcodes in which to look out if you’re going to be driving through:
The top 14 places to look out for and their postcodes
1. Birmingham – B25, B34, B8, B27, B33
2. Bradford – BD7, BD3, BD8, BD9, BD15
3. Walsall – WS, WS2
4. Blackburn – BB9
5. Romford – RM18, RM8
6. Wakefield – WF13, WF16
7. Oldham – OL8
8. Halifax – HX1
9. Manchester – M8
10. Leeds – LS8
11. North London – N9
12. Luton – LU3
13. High Wycombe – HP12
14. Ilford – IG3
While these are the most prominent places generally speaking for crash-for cash schemes. Here are the top 10 high risk postcodes to look out for:
Top 10 crash-for-cash postcodes in the UK:
B25 – Birmingham
B34 – Birmingham
B8 – Birmingham
BD7 – Bradford
BD3 – Bradford
WS1 – Walsall
BB9 – Blackburn
BD8 – Bradford
B27 – Birmingham
RM18 – Romford
James Dalton of the ABI (Association of British Insurers) stated the following: “These criminal gangs are often highly organised and put lives at risk. The amounts that they fraudulently claim can be huge and can impact on the motor premiums paid by honest motorists.” To ensure your safety while driving, you must remain vigilant and maintain a reasonable distance from the vehicle in front of you – this allows you to react promptly and make informed decisions in the event of any unexpected situations on the road.
Ben Fletcher from the IFB said they are: “urging people to report any suspicious activity to our Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or online” so more can be done to stop these fraudulent criminals from exploiting unsuspecting people.
At Van Discount, we strive to keep our customers updated with the latest driving news, tips and tricks. While, of course, being committed to saving our customers an average of 40% off the recommended retail price of a new van – which can often equate to savings of thousands of pounds!
If you have any specific questions or need advice, don’t hesitate to ask our team of experts. With decades of experience, we have the know-how to provide valuable insights into the best van deals available. Feel free to reach out to us anytime for advice! Get in touch today by calling 01282 872 530, and our friendly team will be happy to assist you.