Fleet News

Firms tackle rising toll of injury frauds

THE daily rental industry is fighting back against fraudulent insurance claims that are pushing up the price of rentals and costing it tens of thousands of pounds every year.

With third-party claims on the rise, the country’s leading daily rental companies have put together a list of indicators for staff to spot and stop phoney claims.

According to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), about 4% of all insurance claims are suspected of being fraudulent.

With an average personal injury payment of nearly £7,000 and with fraudulent claims often made on behalf of passengers as well, the costs soon mount up.

Brian Jayes, BVRLA rental committee chairman, said: ‘As a service industry we take our responsibilities to our customers very seriously. In a high volume claims situation, we need to be able to separate the genuine claims from the bogus ones as quickly as possible and these fraud indicators will do just that.’

Although some of the fraud is organised, opportunism makes up a significant proportion of the total claims handled. But the DVLA says that because insurance fraud is generally regarded by the public as a ‘victimless’ crime, exaggerating a claim is viewed as acceptable.

Risk management professionals in the industry meet regularly to share information on best practice and issue collective advice to tackle the problem. Jayes said: ‘There is no single solution to tackling insurance fraud. But raising awareness and working together is an obvious step forward.

‘Using BVRLA fraud indicators at rental branch and claims handling points are simple and practical steps that help to address the problem.’

Among many other indicators staff will assess are looking out for a one-day rental at the cheapest rate, no obvious reason for the rental, whether an accident happened near to the hirer’s home address and why only a few miles were driven during the period, although in isolation each factor may not be significant, the BVRLA says.

The industry’s campaign is mainly targeted at members of the public, not daily rental company corporate customers.

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