Car insurance scams and fraudulent claims are an escalating issue in the UK, with costs averaging £1.3billion each year. This effects all honest drivers and unfortunately leaves us all suffering from increasing premiums as insurance companies try to cover their losses. Often scammers will exaggerate claims of injury or damages in order to take more money out of the honest driver’s pockets. A small insurance company contacted us when they received a precarious claim following a road traffic collision.
A customer of theirs was involved in a collision that had unfortunately written off both the vehicles involved. At the initial stages follow the crash the secondary vehicles driver was calm and it appeared that both drivers were unscathed, a week later however the driver’s insurance put through claims citing severe whiplash and a slipped disk, leaving him unable to work or complete the daily activities he was used to. The insurance company requested the support of our investigators to validate these claims and assess whether the driver was telling the truth.
After a brief and constructive conversation, we were able to ascertain the driver’s details from the insurance company and a surveillance team got to work at the drivers address the next day. It was also noted that as the vehicle related to the claim had been written off he may be using an unknown vehicle or potentially public transport. After a short period of surveillance, the subject was seen exiting his flat, wearing sports clothing and carrying a holdall. The subject walked unassisted and briskly approximately 300 metres to a bus stop and shortly after entered the bus heading towards a nearby town centre.
The bus arrived in the town and the subject alighted, unbeknown to the subject a member of our team had also joined the bus and was in a nearby seat waiting to follow. They had relayed an accurate location the rest of the team allowing them to join yet it was within a busy town centre full of pedestrianised access, making it difficult for vehicles to enter. Still showing no signs of injury the subject walked a short distance to a local gym and entered via a pin code. As our operatives come prepared for any situation, the team that joined was able to change into attire that suited the workout environment. After paying for a day pass an investigator, with a state-of-the-art covert camera, entered the gym to join the subject inside.
Whilst inside the gym it was documented that the subject engaged in a typical workout, using cardio equipment such as a treadmill and lifting weights, both activities unlikely to be performed by somebody with the claimant’s apparent ailments. The subject remained in the gym and engaged in strenuous physical activity before gathering the belongings in his holdall and exiting the gym. From here the subject was again seen walking, free of any visible physical ailment. He walked to a nearby shopping parade and purchasing food and other items before returning to the bus stop and heading home.
The evidence gathered was fundamental to our client and pivotal in the case having a dramatic effect on the amount they were liable to pay for this fraudulent injury claim. Our client launched a counter-claim against the client and ultimately were able to minimise their losses.