posted 6 years ago

Windscreen Camera Exposes Premium Boosting Insurance Fraud

Haulier Cleared Of Accident Blame By Windscreen Camera

A haulier's windscreen camera has witnessed the type of insurance fraud that increases motorists' premiums. The footage – that was recorded via a Smart Witness system – showed the lorry travelling at fifty-five miles per-hour on the inside lane of a motorway. As the traffic in the second/third lanes slowed, a people carrier braked late then swerved violently from lane three into the lorry's path. This caused a collision for which the people carrier's driver – and his three passengers – blamed the haulier. They then filed claims for whiplash injuries that could have totalled seventy-five thousand pounds. Fortunately, the camera proved that the lorry driver was blameless and the whiplash claims were rejected. This type of fraud is increasingly common. The Automobile Association has, in fact, claimed that there has been a sixty percent rise in personal injury claims since 2006 - even though the number of accidents has fallen. As such, there are more than five-hundred thousand whiplash clams per-year of which the insurance industry estimates sixty percent are false. These increase premiums by up to £90 and – according to Smart Witness – cost the insurance industry one-billion pounds per-annum.

How Insurance Fraudsters Deliberately Cause Collisions

Smart Witness cameras can be mounted to the windscreen with adhesive tape and powered via a cigarette lighter or hard-wired into the vehicle. The main benefit, of course, is that a camera could prove its owner's innocence following a fraud related impact designed to make the innocent party look culpable. Popular scams include braking very late/hard – or at an unusual point – while approaching a roundabout. The following car then strikes the crook's rear. More often than not, the driver that hits the back of a vehicle is blamed for the impact. Alternatively, the criminal travels on a road that has (say) a petrol station or junction on its left. The crook, of course, has right of way. He then spots a car waiting to join and flashes his lights to indicate he will allow the victim to move onto the road. However, as the victim commits the crook accelerates and causes a collision. He then claims that he did not flash his headlights so the innocent party is blamed for moving into oncoming traffic. The fraudster then files an insurance claim for damage to his car, etc. No wonder windscreen cameras are becoming common.