The shock figure is revealed in research carried out for insurance broker Kwik Fit Insurance Service.
It shows a total of eight per cent of the UK’s 30 million motorists admit to committing insurance fraud.
And almost two million drivers say they will consider telling porkies to save money when their insurance is due to be renewed.
The headline figures are:
• Eight per cent of drivers have knowingly given false information when purchasing an insurance policy;
• Six per cent of drivers will consider telling ‘little white lies’ to save money at their next renewal date;
• Young adults are 19 times more likely to commit insurance fraud than Britain’s 55s and over;
• A fifth of car or home insurance holders (21 per cent) know someone who has committed ‘insurance fraud’ – and 14 per cent would consider reporting them anonymously;
• More than half of car or home insurance holders (53 per cent) don’t think it’s reasonable for insurers to increase premiums to cover fraud – despite it costing the industry £1.3bn.
The number of motorists happy to commit fraud underlines figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which reveals insurance fraud hit the record cost of £1.3bn last year, up 18 per cent on 2012.
The report shows attitudes towards insurance fraud depend significantly on the age of the customer. Younger Britons are far more likely to commit insurance fraud, with one in five 18-34s (19 per cent) admitting to giving false information on car or home insurance to try to get a cheaper price or premium.
This is 19 times more than the trustworthy 55+ year olds who would consider doing the same. Ten per cent of 18 to 34 year olds would be likely to exaggerate an insurance claim to get a bigger payout, compared with just three per cent of those aged 55 or older.
This may be partly attributed to a lack of insurance knowledge, with 88 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds realising that giving false information to an insurance provider is classified as ‘insurance fraud’, compared with 95 per cent of over-55s.
Kwik Fit Insurance Service’s research underlines the confusion that exists around insurance fraud. While 94 per cent of respondents appreciate giving false information at insurance quote stage is fraud, many simply don’t understand the seriousness of this.
Just 38 per cent of car or home insurance holders realise it is fraudulent to give false information about their marital status, and 41 per cent are at risk of giving false information about the value of contents in their home, as they are unaware of the potential criminal consequences.
Almost one in five drivers (17 per cent) don’t realise that hiding criminal driving convictions from an insurer could have legal consequences.
The false information most commonly given to car insurers includes:
• Where will the car be kept overnight usually and during the day?
• How many miles a year do you drive?
• Will the car be used for social purposes only, rather than commuting to a place of work too?
• What is the value of your car?
• Has the car been modified?
Jason Banwell, the managing director at Kwik Fit Insurance Service, said: ‘This research is eye-opening. The six per cent of drivers who will consider committing insurance fraud to save money are putting themselves directly in the sight of criminal investigators.
‘Insurance fraud is no joke. Alongside costing the industry money, customers are putting themselves at risk by not having adequate levels of cover.
‘Britons need to be aware of the link between giving false information to insurers and a rise in insurance premiums. Now it’s time for a new era of honesty to achieve the best deal for all.’
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