Fraudulent vehicle damage claims:
Accident Specialist (www.accidentspecialist.co.za) has dealt with an extensive number of interesting fraudulent
claim cases to examine. The majority of these cases appear to be the result of an insured trying to escape financial
burden by pretending that their vehicle has been so damaged that it should be written off. It is suspected that any
payout by the insurance company for the written-off vehicle would then settle any outstanding liabilities with the
finance house used in the purchase of the vehicle and so get the insured out of a debt trap.
Although not a revelation, we originally reviewed the issues of fraudulent claims as there had been an increase in
this practice, likely to be as a result of various factors, not least of all due to increased financial burdens caused by a
hard economy. Likewise, it appears that there is prima facie evidence of involvement of recovery companies, panel
beating companies, and private assessing companies, arguably to “make money”.
In a recent case dealt with, the insured, driving a 320i BMW sedan, maintained that the vehicle overturned
completely whilst negotiating a bend and then landed on its wheels again. Naturally such an interesting occurrence
is not to be taken at face value and both the vehicle and the alleged place where the rollover (overturning) took place
were examined for any and all supporting and/or contradictory evidence.
If the insured is determined to defraud the insurance company to obtain economic relief as suggested above and
vehicle written off through rollover is the method of choice, then the insured has to present the vehicles damaged
remains in a way that does not arouse suspicion. This is quite difficult to do, given that there will be no one willing
to drive the vehicle and actually roll it over.
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