Fleet transport insurance specialist, McCarron Coates, is urging courier operators to make the most of technology, by installing dashcams to fight a wave of fraud that started in London and has since spread to other parts of the UK.
The scam is the latest ‘crash for cash’ fraud but, instead of a car slamming on its brakes to make a vehicle following it pile into the back of it, this one involves mopeds.
The moped rider heads straight towards a motorist, having hidden in a side road or parking space. The motorist has to perform an emergency stop but may well hit the bike, or have the bike hit them. The rider feigns terrible injury and has an accomplice nearby, who suddenly acts as a witness and supports the moped rider’s view of what occurred. Sometimes, a third vehicle obscures the victim’s view, before the moped appears.
The claim then goes in and the victim’s insurance company is potentially faced with extortionate demands for injury and medical treatment, alternative vehicle hire and more.
So far, this is said to have cost insurers £27 million, with this type of incident being of ‘epidemic’ proportions in north London and other parts of the capital, such as Kensington and Chelsea.
McCarron Coates director, Ian McCarron, says: “We would firstly urge courier companies to ensure they have dashcams fitted in vans, so the true story of what has occurred can be told. They could also fit a device that would help highlight whether or not the driver was speeding or doing anything else untoward, as claimed by the bike rider.
“Crucially, if they are a victim of this type of incident, they must not allow it to traumatise them to the extent it prevents them reporting it immediately. Even if it is a fraudulent claim, the sooner your insurer knows about it, the sooner they can control the costs attached to it.
“Give any camera footage, or any other evidence collected by devices like HH Driveright’s GM 2020 device, to your insurer and you can potentially help them fight a fraudulent claim. Take no action and you will feel the impact in your premiums, when it comes to renewal.”
With thousands of victims suffering this scam so far, it is time to fight back, be prepared and have the evidence at the fingertips that can help expose the scammers.
Even if you are not involved in this type of crash for cash scam, others still operate. Any incident, in which you are not at fault, can result in a better outcome for you, if you can prove what you are saying through telematics-based evidence.
With the new charge of ‘causing serious injury by careless or inconsiderate driving’ now in the law books, with serious being defined as just a broken bone, no driver can risk the police investigating such an incident. Police could accept what the fraudster says about injury, which would result in the driver facing interviews, under caution, to try to prove their innocence.
If a crash for cash incident escalates to this level, professional legal support is required. All McCarron Coates courier fleet customers can benefit from a RTC Crisis Line – a service that will see a specially trained solicitor step into the case, the minute it becomes a police-investigated collision.
Having this support could mean the difference between a heavy fine or prison sentence and proving you were blameless.
For help with the strategies you could employ in the fight against this fraud, and to find out more about how RTC Crisis Line could protect your drivers, yourself as their employer, or your business and livelihood, contact McCarron Coates on 0113 298 3489.