Stats show that GAP insurers are reporting a significant increase in the frequency of fraudulent claims. Crawford Legal Services has a proven track record of repudiating over 80% of claims where fraud is suspected.
”Andrew” (not his real name) alleged he was driving his BMW 320 throughout Caterham in the Surrey countryside when a total loss incident occurred.
Most Brits these days use Rightmove when considering moving house, but Andrew said he and his wife were “just driving around” on the lookout for “for sale” signs to see what properties were on the market.
As the pair was driving, a car emerged without warning and failed to give way, subsequently colliding with the side of the BMW. According to the damage assessment, Andrew’s BMW was a total loss.
The ‘fault’ driver, “Nick” a Bulgarian national, was driving a Toyota Prius on hire from Europcar. A high-profile law firm was appointed by Eurocar to consider the claim as potentially fraudulent but, notwithstanding a plethora of serious fraud indicators, the claim was paid including the total loss leading to an inevitable GAP insurance claim.
The GAP Insurer, acting upon the obvious fraud indicators, instructed Crawford Legal Services. We determined that:
- Andrew was the director of an accident management business.
- Andrew’s account of the accident and reason for being at the location had little credibility.
- The accident damage did not look consistent.
- The TPV was a hire car – a classic fraud indicator.
- Nick failed to cooperate with investigations.
- Andrew’s car was recovered to an accident management facility, assessed by a vehicle damage assessor and Andrew was represented by a Midlands based law firm. All three are key fraud indicators associated with a known industry counter-fraud operation.
After obtaining a statement from Andrew, CLS obtained forensic engineering evidence. To the extent that the car had been damaged in the alleged collision, the damage was minimal. There was evidence of additional damage and exaggeration in a deliberate attempt to construct a total loss to facilitate a fraudulent GAP (and RTA) claim.
The claim was declined without challenge, saving our client over £10k.
What is GAP Insurance?
GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) policies are often bought by those buying a new car or near-new car. If the car (that is funded by finance) is written-off in an accident or is stolen, the owner could find themselves out of pocket, even after the motor insurer pays out. This is where GAP insurance kicks in. It’s designed to minimise or prevent financial loss to honest policyholders. However, opportunistic and organised fraudsters often attempt to take advantage.