The value of fraudulent insurance claims uncovered by insurers rose to a record £1.3bn in 2013, bolstered by £811m of fraudulent motor-related claims, according to figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The 2103 total figure is up 18% on the previous year, while the value of fraudulent motor claims is up 32%.
The ABI’s figures show that in 2013 insurers detected 118,500 bogus or exaggerated insurance claims, equivalent to 2,279 a week.
The average fraud detected across all types of insurance products was £10,813. While there was a small fall in the number of detected frauds, their value (£1.3bn) was up 18% on the 2012 figure.
Fraudulent motor insurance claims were the most expensive and common, with 59,900 dishonest claims (up 34% on 2012) with a value of £811m (up 32%).
The ABI says that since 2007 the value of dishonest general insurance claims detected has more than doubled, with the number detected up 30% over the same period.
Examples of bogus motor insurance claims include 60 people, including seven members of the same family, who were convicted of a ‘crash for cash’ staged accident fraud which involved more than £514,000 being claimed from 25 vehicle crashes.
In another incident, a bus company was forced to scrap a route after it was targeted by ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters.
Aidan Kerr, the ABI’s head of fraud, said: "Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime, which is why the industry invests £200m a year in fraud detection.
"The message is clear: never has it been harder to get away with committing insurance fraud; never have the penalties been so severe.”