Over 20% of motorists have or know someone who has exaggerated or falsified an insurance claim
More than half (58%) of drivers admit faking accidents is morally wrong
Most drivers agree the innocent driver is the real victim
Some 21% of motorists have, or know someone who has either exaggerated or falsified a motor insurance claim, according to new research from Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva). When asked if they or someone they knew had exaggerated or falsified an insurance claim for either damage to their car or personal injuries to get a higher pay-out, 3% admitted to having done so themselves, while 18% claimed they knew of someone who did. The survey by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva polled 1,000 people nationwide, 774 of whom were motorists.
Survey respondents were asked to select from a number of statements as to what best describes their views on faking or exaggerating motor claims with the majority (58%) of motorists saying that it is both morally wrong as well as unfair on those who must foot the bill through higher premiums. However, 17% believe that it is only morally wrong, while 14% said it was unfair on other motorists who pay higher premiums as a result – but not morally wrong. Some 6% viewed these behaviours as victimless crimes as insurers have lots of money, and a further 5% said it was ok to do this so long as it is more of a white lie rather than a complete fabrication of the truth.
The headline findings from this survey are truly shocking and underpin the urgent need for harsher penalties on those who are found to have exaggerated or falsified a motor insurance claim. It is estimated that insurance fraud in Ireland costs the industry hundreds of millions annually. The reality is that the cost of this fraud must be paid for, and it is motorists, including the many honest motorists, who must foot the bill to pay for this in their annual insurance premium.Brian O’Connor, Chief Claims Officer at Aviva
The Aviva survey found that:
- 17% of men and 14% of women who were surveyed know someone who has exaggerated or falsified an insurance claim, highest amongst 34-44-year-olds at 19%
- 7% of men (3% of women) view these activities as victimless crimes as insurers have lots of money – highest amongst those aged 45-54 at 10%
- 13% of men (5% of women) view these activities as ok so long as it’s more of a white lie than a complete fabrication of the truth – highest amongst those aged 18-24
- 61% of women (51% of men) believe it is both morally wrong and unfair on motorists who must foot the bill, highest amongst those aged 55+
Looking at the impact, most drivers (68%) say false injury or damage claims cause great stress to the innocent driver involved, particularly if they have to go to court, while 56% say that the innocent driver involved is the real victim. Some 37% of motorists believe that it may result in the innocent driver losing confidence in their own competence on the roads, with 35% believing it will make them more nervous. Only 4% think that these claims have no impact on the other innocent party.
“Unfortunately, we experience first-hand on a daily basis the dreadful impact that motor accidents have on our customers, particularly when they believe that the other party is exaggerating or falsifying their claim. As an organisation we operate a zero-tolerance approach where we suspect that a claim is in part or wholly fraudulent and we continue to contest these claims up to and including going into court. This approach is more costly, but we believe that it is the right thing to do for our customers and society at large. We fully understand the impact that fighting these cases have on our customers who are subjected to unnecessary stress and trauma over a protracted period as they await the outcome of a court case. Many of them find the whole legal process and the prospect of having to give evidence in court to be very intimidating and we work hard to give them every support that we can through this time. It is very much not a victimless crime,” concluded Brian O’Connor.