The total cost of fraudulent insurance claims in UK reached £1.3bn in 2013, up by 18% compared to the year before, according to the figures published by the industry watchdog, the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Despite fall in the number of claims, the UK insurers detected a total of 118,500 fake or inflated insurance claims in the year, which equates to 2,279 claims every week.
The insurance industry trade associations said that false claims cost an extra £50 annually, through inflated premiums to every policyholder in the country.
The ABI report found that the biggest rise in false claims was in car insurance. The number of dishonest motor claims increased by 34% to 59,900 claims and their value stood at £811m.
The number and value of property insurance frauds decreased by 38% to 35,000 frauds worth £137m down by 24% compared to 2012.
The cost of dishonest general insurance claims detected has more than doubled since 2007, with the number detected increased by 30% over the same period.
ABI fraud head assistant director Aidan Kerr said, "The message is clear: never has it been harder to get away with committing insurance fraud; never have the penalties – ranging from a custodial sentence and a criminal record to difficulties in obtaining financial products in the future – been so severe."
The trade body further revealed that enquiry into the bogus claim filing by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department has so far led to 470 arrests and 85 prosecutions of insurance fraudsters since its formation in 2011.
ABI said calls from members of the public reporting suspected insurance frauds into the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s Cheatline grew by 32% to 6,060 in 2013 compared to the previous year figures.
Image: Fraudulent insurance claims cost surged by 18% to £1.3bn in 2013: ABI. Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles.