Car insurance Updated:
If you've ever been tempted to be less-than-honest in order to get cheaper car insurance, you could be fighting a losing battle. Research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has found that thousands of motorists are being caught out every year by cutting corners when buying car insurance, so if you try to be one of them, you could end up paying a high price.
The figures show that insurers uncovered 212,000 attempted dishonest applications for car insurance last year, up 18% from 2013 and the equivalent of just over 4,000 every week. Common mis-truths included "forgetting" to disclose previous claims or unspent convictions, giving a false address or postcode for a lower risk area, and parents insuring a vehicle in their name that's actually mainly driven by their son or daughter, a practice commonly known as "fronting".
It isn't an isolated problem, either. The figures went on to reveal that last year over 1,500 reports to the Insurance Fraud Bureau's 'Cheatline' were related to car insurance application fraud, nearly a quarter of the total calls received, which just shows how much of an issue it's becoming.
Sometimes, honest motorists can be caught out, too. The ABI is specifically highlighting the practice of "ghost broking", whereby illegal insurance advisers sell bogus car insurance policies, the result being that the customer is driving illegally without valid insurance – which means they could face prosecution and have their vehicle seized.
"Insurers recognise that innocent mistakes and oversights happen," said Mark Allen, the ABI's Fraud and Financial Crime manager. "But anyone lying to get cheaper motor insurance, or tempted by cheap insurance offers without first checking that they are genuine, risks driving illegally.
"The consequences include getting a criminal record and a massive financial headache if found to be at fault for a crash. The risks are just not worth it – especially when you can shop around for the right policy at the lowest price."
When it's so easy to compare the options to get a decent quote, why run the risk of driving illegally? By failing to disclose vital pieces of information you could end up paying far more in the long run, so it's simply not worth it. If you want to get a cheap policy the easy way, bear in mind these few tips:
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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