A third party claimant submitted a claim following an accident (March 2015) in our policyholder’s builder’s yard. A forklift truck had reversed into the side of the claimant’s stationary vehicle.
Later that same month, a claim was submitted on the claimant’s behalf for vehicle damage and car hire charges. The letter stated that the claimant’s vehicle was “parked and unattended in a parking bay” at the time of the collision. We admitted liability for the collision and paid this claim in August 2015.
In December 2016 (19 months post-accident) the claimant submitted another claim, this time for personal injuries. No offers were made and court proceedings were issued in March 2018 and a defence case was filed.
As part of our ongoing investigations we obtained a recording of the call the claimant made to his accident representative. This revealed he wasn’t in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Along with this, we also received two witness statements, both confirming that the claimant wasn’t in his vehicle and was in fact being served in the yard’s shop. In addition, despite stating that he had visited his doctor several times as a result of the alleged accident, there were no records to support this.
An application was made to amend the defence to plead fraud, and in response the claimant discontinued his claim in April 2019.
We took a firm stance and launched a private prosecution.
A warrant was issued and at the first hearing the magistrates transferred the case to the Crown Court on the basis that it was too serious for them to deal with. At the following hearing the claimant pleaded guilty.
At the sentencing hearing on 27 May 2020 the claimant confirmed that he’d been cold called and encouraged to make an injury claim. Submissions were made on our behalf on the impact of fraud on the insurance industry and the cost of premiums. The court found that the fraudulent attempt had persisted for a considerable period of time and that the claimant had signed various court documents containing statements of truth, which were aggravating factors.
The court sentenced the claimant to a 12 month immediate custodial sentence and we recovered all of the costs of the private prosecution.