Do not answer any police questions until you have spoken to a solicitor, even if you are simply asked to attend the station for a ‘chat’. The police are experienced at eliciting incriminating responses, meaning you may accidentally damage your case.
We are highly experienced fraud solicitors with offices in London, Leeds, Sheffield, Huddersfield and Dewsbury. We help those accused of insurance fraud, offering free initial legal advice and police station representation. Contact us now – we are able to take your call 24 hours a day, 7
days a week.
Insurance fraud takes many forms. Essentially, it is the act of providing false or incomplete information to an insurance company, with the aim of benefitting in some way. Often, this benefit is financial in nature, as you may save money or secure a greater insurance pay-out, to which you are not actually entitled.
Insurance fraud might begin as a little white lie, but actually, any attempt to defraud an insurer is a criminal offence. As such, it is taken very seriously by both insurance companies and the police. Insurance fraud can be committed against any type of insurer, including those offering car insurance, pet insurance, home and contents insurance, and holiday insurance to name but a few.
Examples of insurance fraud include:
- Exaggerating the extent of your losses to obtain more money
- Making a fake claim to obtain an insurance pay-out, including ‘cash for crash’ schemes
- Staging a crime to obtain an insurance pay-out, such as a burglary
- Deliberately damaging your possessions to obtain an insurance pay-out, such as setting fire to your home or business premises
- Providing an insurer with inaccurate or incomplete information to get a better insurance premium
- Providing an insurer with inaccurate or incomplete information to claim a larger pay-out
- Failing to report a material change in circumstances that would impact the cost or validity of your insurance
What if I’ve been wrongly accused of insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is thought to cost the insurance industry over £1 billion every year. Insurers are all too aware of this and are keen to stamp out the problem as best as possible. Sometimes, however, their suspicions are misplaced. This can lead to innocent parties being investigated for insurance fraud, even though they have done nothing wrong, or have simply made a genuine mistake.
If this has happened to you, you will no doubt feel aggrieved about your situation. You are either trying to secure an insurance policy, or you are trying to claim a pay-out from your insurer to cover losses that you have incurred. If the insurer states that you are acting fraudulently, then not only will your claim be denied, but your details could also be handed to the police. This is very frustrating, not to mention very scary – especially if the authorities become involved.
The solution is to contact our insurance fraud solicitors straightaway. You might feel this is unnecessary, seeing as you have done nothing wrong. However, it can take a legal expert to demonstrate both to the insurance company and the police that you are innocent. We can handle your case, working hard to clear your name.
What happens during an insurance fraud investigation?
If there is any hint that you are attempting to defraud an insurance company, then the insurance company will begin an internal investigation. As mentioned above, insurers remain alert to inaccuracies or potentially fraudulent claims. You may be the subject of an investigation, even if you have been entirely truthful.
The insurer will ask you various questions, and may also contact your friends and family for statements. The investigation can be extremely in-depth, and a special investigator may be asked to gather evidence against you. This might include audio recordings, expert reports and photographic evidence.
If the insurer believes that you participated in insurance fraud, your case will be passed to the police, potentially via the Insurance Fraud Bureau. Your case will be handled by a specialist police unit called the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
What happens during a police investigation for insurance fraud?
The IFED will then begin their own investigation, during which you will likely be interviewed. You must not answer any police questions or attend a police interview without a insurance fraud solicitor present. You are entitled to free legal advice at the police station. Furthermore, you are entitled to remain silent until your representative arrives.
If you have been arrested and taken to the police station, or you have been asked to attend a police interview on a voluntary basis, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We offer free police station representation.
If the police decide it is necessary, they can request a search warrant from the court. If granted, this would give the police the ability to search your home and workplace. Items can be seized, including accounts, laptops, desktops and mobile phones. The police can look through your communications, including WhatsApp messages and emails.
If there is sufficient evidence to indicate that you are guilty of insurance fraud, you will be formally charged. You must then decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty.
What are the penalties for insurance fraud?
The courts take a dim view of insurance fraud and custodial sentences are not unheard of. In fact, some offenders receive up to nine months in prison. For more minor cases, you might expect a lesser sentence such as a community order and a fine. It will also be harder to secure insurance in the future.
I’ve been accused of insurance fraud – what should I do?
If you have been accused of insurance fraud, our advice is to remain calm. Do not engage with the insurance company or the police until you contact our fraud solicitors. It does not matter what the allegations are – whether you are accused of setting fire to your house for an ’insurance job’, staging a car crash or lying about your address, we can help you.
We offer a free initial consultation, during which we will provide expert legal advice. We can recommend the best way forward in your case. If you would like us to represent you going forward, then we may be able to secure legal aid on your behalf. We can then manage your case, liaising with the insurer and/or the police. Importantly, we will accompany you to any police interviews, ensuring you know exactly what questions to answer and how to answer them.
Our priority will be to get the allegations against you dropped in the early stages. If the Crown Prosecution Service decides to uphold the charges, then your case will go to court. We will be by your side throughout, presenting a robust defence that undermines the prosecution’s case. We can also put forward any mitigating circumstances that should persuade the court to show leniency.
Insurance fraud cases require a careful, analytical approach. Our fraud solicitors are highly experienced and know how to secure a positive outcome in your case.
Have you been accused of insurance fraud? Contact us now for a free initial enquiry.
Call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.