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A £90,000 bogus car insurance claim – and how the fraudsters were caught by their telematics box

Amelia Murray
The crash data recorded by the telematics box in one of the cars did not match up to the drivers' damage claims - © Daniele Pietrobelli / Alamy Stock Photo

Two fraudsters who attempted to claim £90,000 on a car insurance policy have been caught out by the insurer's telematics box, resulting in them paying £70,000 in legal costs.

The two drivers claimed that their cars, a Hyundai and a BMW, had been severely damaged in a collision in February 2015. They claimed £87,921 – the vast majority of it for the hire of replacement vehicles – against the Hyandai driver's insurer.

But evidence submitted to Cambridge County Court by Insurethebox, which had insured the Hyandai and installed a black box device in it, suggested that the claim was fraudulent and the damage caused to the vehicles was deliberate.

Crash data recorded by the telematics box did not match the severity of the reported damage. Telematics devices track a vehicle's movements, including acceleration and braking speed. The Hyundai driver eventually admitted that she had been persuaded to drive into the BMW by her passenger. 

Insurethebox discovered that the Hyundai had been damaged further in two additional collisions following the initial "crash". The black box data suggested that the impact of these was far greater than recorded at the time of the first collision.

The insurer said there was also evidence that the car had been hit five or six times with a hammer to increase the value of the claim.

The judge in the civil liability case concluded that the BMW driver had been a conspirator in the fraud and knew the passenger in the Hyundai. The Hyundai driver did not attend court but submitted her evidence in writing.

Both admitted fraud and were ordered to cover insurethebox's costs of £70,000.

Adrian Steele of insurethebox said: “Telematics and engineering evidence clearly verified the policyholder’s written confession and that was satisfactory for the judge.

"This case demonstrates the role telematics data is playing in our claims investigations, providing a valuable piece in the jigsaw when we are working to understand the full picture of a claim.

It also underlines the claims expertise we have, bringing together disparate pieces of information to see where anomalies are occurring which give rise to deeper investigation.”