car crash - front bumper

Insurance fraud skyrockets with motorbike 'crash for cash' claims up 60-fold

Posted: 21 May 2024

Crash for cash scammers cause an accident so that they can blame the innocent driver. In this case, the crime involves an induced accident - involving one vehicle and one motorbike or scooter driven by a criminal - deliberately creating a crash involving unsuspecting motorists.

The fraud involves motorbikes and scooters attempting to purposefully get ‘hit’ to make an insurance claim. For example, targeting drivers as they park, riding past just as the driver opens the car door so that it hits the motorbike to make it appear as if it’s the drivers’ fault.

Allianz’s claims data finds that four in ten of these accidents happen during the school run and rush hour, between 3-7pm. Lunchtime errands also seems to be prime time for fraudsters, with 27% of collisions happening between 11am-2pm, and 27% of incidents also occurring on a Wednesday.

Londoners bear the brunt of the problem, with over half of incidents taking place in Greater London. South London accounts for 42% of the exposure, with North London accounting for 26%. Croydon, in South London is the biggest insurance fraud hotspot accounting for 42%, alongside Enfield in North London and certain locations in Southwest London.

Matt Crabtree, Head of Financial Crime Intelligence & Investigation Strategy at Allianz personal lines business comments:

“Organised criminal gangs have evolved their tactics, so as well as targeting large cities which they’ve previously done, we’re also seeing them move around and use small clusters across wider areas to try and avoid detection.

matt crabtree

This includes small towns and the outskirts of main cities such as Thornton Heath in London and Hagley in Birmingham, as well as the busy city centre itself.

“It's shocking that we’ve seen a 60-fold increase in the number of motorbike 'crash for cash' claims in 2023. Innocent victims are being physically and emotionally affected by this dangerous crime, and this is also putting young children, drivers, and passers-by at significant risk. We’re committed to working with the police to bring these criminals to justice.”

Jon Radford, Head of Intelligence, Investigations & Data Services at the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said:

“Crash for cash scams take place across all corners of the UK and have a devastating impact on innocent road users, so we urge the public to be vigilant to signs of this dangerous activity. We're collaborating closely with insurers and the police to help bring these reckless insurance fraudsters to justice. If anyone believes they have evidence of a crash for cash scam they can report it to our confidential CheatLine.”

Allianz has provided valuable advice for motorists to help identify and avoid becoming victims of 'crash for cash' fraud:

  • Potential hazards: Be vigilant for unusual driving behaviour and exercise caution at junctions and when pulling from parked positions or side roads. Stay calm and maintain distance if you notice suspicious behaviour or pre-existing vehicle damage.
  • Look for damage and take photos: Document the scene and any vehicle damage. We often see claims inflated when presented so having pictures at the time of the collision can be vital.
  • Take the details: Obtain the rider’s name, address, phone number, vehicle registration and if possible write down a description of the bike and its rider.
  • Collect evidence: Seek witnesses and look around for any available CCTV, dashcam or doorbell cameras that may have footage at the accident.
  • Contact your insurer: Inform your insurer and report any suspicions to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline. 

Images and video footage available on request

About Allianz Holdings plc

Allianz Holdings plc is the non-regulated holding company which owns the principal insurance operations of Allianz SE in Great Britain including Allianz Insurance.

About Allianz

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with around 125 million* private and corporate customers in nearly 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 737 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage about 1.7 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2023, over 157,000 employees achieved total business volume of 161.7 billion euros and an operating profit of 14.7 billion euros for the group.

* Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.

**As of December 31, 2023.

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This document includes forward-looking statements, such as prospects or expectations, that are based on management's current views and assumptions and subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance figures, or events may differ significantly from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

Deviations may arise due to changes in factors including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the general economic and competitive situation in the Allianz’s core business and core markets, (ii) the performance of financial markets (in particular market volatility, liquidity, and credit events), (iii) adverse publicity, regulatory actions or litigation with respect to the Allianz Group, other well-known companies and the financial services industry generally, (iv) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, including those resulting from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (v) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (vi) persistency levels, (vii) the extent of credit defaults, (viii) interest rate levels, (ix) currency exchange rates, most notably the EUR/USD exchange rate, (x) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (xi) the impact of acquisitions including related integration issues and reorganization measures, and (xii) the general competitive conditions that, in each individual case, apply at a local, regional, national, and/or global level. Many of these changes can be exacerbated by terrorist activities.

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1 Claim data for motorbike couriers / delivery drivers insurance fraud detected – increased by 6250%

2 Hot spots in order of cases received by LV=, based on data from 2023

More information can be found here: Everything To Know About Insurance Fraud | LV=