Insurance fraud hits young drivers hard

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Insurance fraud hits young drivers hard
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What Car? Staff
11 Mar 2011 00:01

Fraudulent injury claims are to blame for rocketing insurance premiums, according to a cross-party Transport Select Committee.

Young drivers hit hard
The report quotes the AAs British Insurance Premium index, which saw the average cost of comprehensive cover increase by 11.7% in the third quarter of 2010, and by 29.9% in the year to October 2010.

It's a far tougher story for young drivers, though. Average premiums for men aged 17-22 jumped to 2457 up 46.6% in the year to October 2010. The average for women of the same age shot up by 58.8% to 1423.

New police unit needed
The committee called on the insurance industry to do more to tackle fraudulent personal injury claims.

It wants the Government to push the industry into funding a new police unit dedicated to tackling the problem.

The report says: 'Although we welcome wider access to justice, it should not provide an opportunity for people to make fraudulent claims for non-existent or pre-existing injuries'.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the committee has not been tough enough and should have called for referral fees between claims management firms and solicitors to be banned entirely and not simply made more transparent.

Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre Thatcham introduced a new database of cars three years ago, which gives insurers a way to identify claims that are likely to be fraudulent. It says the WITkit tool is being used by 'several' UK motor insurers.

How to take control of your insurance premiums
Women's insurance costs are likely to continue increasing faster following a ruling by the European Court of Justice preventing insurers from establishing risk based on gender.

Follow our guide to how you can take control of your insurance premiums.