Our LexisNexis Risk Solutions survey* of 1,500 drivers has uncovered how far some are willing to stretch the truth to obtain a cheaper insurance quote or to get an insurance claim settled. The survey demonstrated both the scale of dissatisfaction amongst drivers about the cost of motor insurance premiums and a lack of understanding of the risk of providing false information.

In some cases, deliberately providing inaccurate information could result in insurance cover being cancelled or a claim not being paid which may harm a driver’s ability to secure insurance cover in the future.

Fibs and the occasional whoppers some motorists think are acceptable

  • 40% Using the same no claims discount/bonus on multiple vehicles
  • 18% Reporting a hit-and-run accident when they damaged the vehicle
  • 17% Changing information regarding their occupation or age on a car insurance application to lower the cost of the premium, 35% of 18-34s are most likely to try this tactic
  • 17% Letting a driver not listed as a named driver on the policy drive their vehicle
  • 16% Using a different address (family member or a friend) to lower the cost of their premium
  • 14% Omitting previous claims information on a car insurance application
  • 12% Exaggerating the severity of a personal injury (e.g. whiplash) to increase the amount of money paid out
  • 12% Changing the number of years of valid no claims discount/bonus
  • 12% Exaggerating the damage to a vehicle to increase the pay out
  • 11% Reporting a different driver than the one who caused the damage to make a claim
  • 11% Receiving a payment for a claim made and then re-reporting the damage later
  • 10% Intentionally damaging or abandoning their vehicle to claim a total loss and get the vehicle replaced

Honesty is always the best policy. Drivers risk their policy being cancelled and any claims refused if they are found to be less than truthful with their insurer. Not only does this leave them at risk of funding their own repairs in the event of damage to the vehicle, but it could also make it difficult for them to obtain insurance from any other provider in future.

Younger drivers tend to pay the highest premiums because they are proven to be the riskiest so it’s easy to see why this age group are more likely to stretch the truth than older drivers.  Our research does suggest an urgent need for much more awareness and education of the risks of supplying inaccurate information to their insurance provider.

In most cases, drivers providing false information do so without realising the potential consequences.  As an industry, we need to do more to help consumers understand the value of cover and the importance of providing full and accurate information to their insurance provider.

*LexisNexis Risk Solutions commissioned a survey of 1,500 UK consumers with equal or sole responsibility for insuring the vehicle they drive most often. LexisNexis Risk Solutions was not identified as the sponsor of this research, which was completed during January 2018.

Follow these links for information on the NCD Module for LexisNexis® Policy History Motor, or the LexisNexis Risk Solutions website for UK insurance to find out more about how we support insurers.

  1. You have forgotten to add how unreasonable insurance companies are, that they would almost triple your premium for at least five years even if you are not at fault. My premium went up from £230 a year to £810 because my bike was stolen from a secured parking, alarmed and with the lock on! By then, of the fifth year, I would have paid back the insurance company what they paid me for the theft…..

  2. Having worked in the insurance industry for over 50 years, I can attest to all of the above.
    People who are otherwise law abiding and God-fearing have no compunction in engaging in such practices.
    Their rationale seems to be that insurance is fair game and that it’s a victimless misdemeanour, without realising the cumulative effect, of not only higher premiums but also their credibility for future applications.

  3. What other industry has the guarantee that everyone driving a vehicle is legally obliged to buy insurance to cover third party risks? I cannot think of any, but the price of cover varies so much because insurance companies offer so many complicated reasons for justifying their risks.

    I once wanted to insure a car which was not very common in the UK and one company told me the price was lower because premiums are based on the type of car and the number of claims made. As there were fewer cars of the type I wanted to insure in use, there were fewer claims so my premium was lower than average. A different company told me the opposite and because my type of car had less claims history, the premium would be higher!

    Insurers use all kinds of tricks to make their insurances look like good value, from reducing the term from 12 months to 10 months, settling claims using second-hand parts, and offering free benefits which have nothing to do with third party risks.

    Can you blame people for trying to show their circumstances are those which attract a lower premium for insurance risks when the insurance companies use the same tactics and worse to increase prices and win their business?

    As it is a legal requirement, [third party] motor insurance should be a not-for-profit transaction, based on transparent reasons for the price, and not designed for profit. Any additional cover which is not legally required should be treated and priced as such and then consumers will have a choice if they wish to purchase it, the price, and which company they choose.

  4. Why are both parties who are involved in a traffic accident penalised with their policies being increased on renewal?
    Why is the victim who was at no fault-apart from being in the wrong place at the wrong time-penalised?
    That’s like getting mugged then getting locked up like the mugger for the privilege. Getting mugged by insurance companies on regular basis…

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