One of the UK’s leading home insurers is accusing customers of cheating on home insurance claims.
Axa says around 200,000 home insurance claims were ‘exaggerated’ by an average £607 last year – adding a massive £121.4 million to settlement costs.
The number of claims from insurance cheats jumped by around 17% and added £13 to the cost of every customer’s home cover, said the firm.
Axa says tens of thousands of false claims have been picked up by claims investigators. Making a false insurance claim is fraud and can lead to a criminal prosecution.
Research by the insurer revealed that financial problems are more likely to lead 12% of customers to make fraudulent claims compared with three years ago, while almost half of homeowners (45%) believe making a false claim is dishonest.
London tops the dishonest claim table, while men are almost twice as likely to inflate the value of their loss than women.
Besides exaggerating claims, customers also lie about:
- Mentioning previous claims (58%)
- Stating windows or doors were shut or locked at the time of the theft when in fact they weren’t(56%)
- Submitting receipts belonging to someone else (48%)
- Damaging their own belongings to make a claim (43%)
Axa head of insurance Steve Gaywood said: “As an industry we are well aware that these things go on and we are introducing measures all the time to try and reduce the amount of fraud. Ultimately, if consumers get caught out they run the risk of having the whole claim turned down as well as facing problems getting insurance in the future.
“It is not a victimless crime, honest customers end up footing the bill through higher premiums as insurers pass on the additional costs of inflated claims.”
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