Luton among top 10 ‘crash for cash’ hotspots in the UK

Aviva has said it received 3,000 fraudulent claims in 2015
Aviva has said it received 3,000 fraudulent claims in 2015

Luton has one of the highest rates of ‘crash for cash’ scams in the UK, an insurer has said.

The town is eighth on Aviva’s top 10 list, which ranks Birmingham as the UK’s ‘crash for cash’ capital.

The result is actually an improvement for Luton, which came second in last year’s Aviva rankings.

North London (2nd), East London (3rd), Leeds (4rd) and Harrow (5th) are also listed as hotspots for the fraud in this year’s list.

Aviva has said that the number of induced accidents (where fraudsters deliberately target innocent motorists to cause accidents in order to claim whiplash compensation) has dropped by just 2% over the last year.

However the amount of staged (when two damaged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident) and bogus accidents detected by Aviva fell by 40%.

Tom Gardiner, Aviva’s head of fraud, said: “We remain very concerned that fraudsters continue to put their own greed ahead of innocent motorists’ safety.

“Our figures show induced accidents now account for nearly half of all organised motor fraud we detect.”

He added: “Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at risk.

“It is also a significant drain on scarce public resources such as ambulance, police and A&E time, all of which are wasted on these entirely bogus claims.

“The number of whiplash claims is a problem unique to the UK and needs urgent reform.”