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Aviva data shows crash for cash incidents up 51% last year

Car crash

Aviva is calling for stronger deterrents for crash for cash gangs after claims fraud data from the insurer revealed there had been a 51% increase in fraudulent slam-ons last year.

These induced accidents were valued at more than £10m and are at the highest levels ever detected by the insurer.

In total, Aviva has had more than 6000 motor injury claims linked to organised fraud activity and is calling for tighter restrictions while warning motorists to be vigilant behind the wheel.

Tom Gardiner, head of claims fraud at Aviva, said: "The fast growth of induced accidents on our roads is cause for serious concern. Fraudsters are prepared to put the safety of innocent motorists' and their families and passengers at risk for their own personal gain. Fraudulent accidents also divert significant public resources such as police, ambulances, emergency services and court time away from real need.

"We believe that convictions for motor injury fraud resulting from induced accidents should result in more custodial sentences that recognise the unique physical harm that this form of insurance fraud poses to motorists, as well as the wider social costs. Stronger sentences will deter would-be fraudsters and help to keep roads safer and premiums lower for customers."

Data from The Sentencing Council shows that community orders were the most common sentence handed out for fraud offences since 2004. However, Aviva has argued that this does little to deter crash for cash fraudsters from committing - and re-committing - induced accidents.

The insurer has welcomed recent measures from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, which are designed to help to crack down on insurance fraudsters - specifically, requiring courts to strike out claims where the claimant has been fundamentally dishonest about their injury.

There is strong support from the public for fraud convictions to attract stronger sentences. Of more than 2000 UK motorists polled by Aviva, 66% supported stronger sentences for convictions of motor injury fraud, while 87% felt custodial sentences sent the strongest message.

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