Investigation uncovers fraudulent motor claim

  • Investigators uncovered a sequence of mistruths

  • Our work saved insurer £7,500 on claim for stolen vehicle

Background

A notice of loss for the theft of a car was received from a policyholder; Mr G. As per our standard process for this type of claim, an investigative interview needed to take place. When we spoke to Mr G, it was clear he was a vulnerable customer. He had recently lost his father, and his mother had suffered a stroke in the weeks following his father’s death. For this reason and in accordance with our vulnerable policyholder process, we decided that rather than attempt a video interview, our investigator would interview him in person.

The investigation

Our investigator met with Mr G at his mother’s house and obtained a detailed statement. He also discussed the issues he and his family were facing. It was apparent Mr G was just pleased to be able to speak with someone.

Mr G provided an account that whilst driving to visit family members he was stopped by the Police and arrested for an outstanding court warrant relating to a drug driving offence. He was taken into custody overnight, before appearing in court the following morning. During this time, the vehicle was left parked up and the key was with him even whilst in custody.

Insurers then received a claim from a Third Party who said they had been involved in an accident with the driver of the insured vehicle who was described as a white female with black hair – this ruled out Mr G. They also provided a mobile number.

There were indemnity issues identified with the claim, including expired vehicle tax and Mr G offered a somewhat lacklustre explanation that his partner had “set it all up for him” so couldn’t explain why the car had been untaxed for six months.

The Insurer asked us to interview the partner and we went and met with her. Prior to doing so we completed background searches on the phone number provided at the scene which was “unregistered”. However, whilst we were interviewing the partner, we arranged for colleagues to ring the mobile number and sure enough as we were writing the statement, we could hear the unmistakable buzz of a vibrating phone. When we asked if she wanted to answer it, she declined.

Following this we then spoke with the Police and they confirmed the vehicle had in fact been seized due to being untaxed, and that it wasn’t stolen.

Results

We put these concerns to Mr G who couldn’t explain the collision, nor could he accept his vehicle had been removed due to expired tax. He was given the opportunity to walk away from the theft claim, which he chose to do. The actions of our investigator resulted in a sizeable saving for the Insurer in relation to the claim for the “stolen” car. Recovery action was also being commenced in respect of the Third-Party claim.

To find out more about our special investigation capabilities, please get in touch with Associate Director, Ahmed Esat on Ahmed.Esat@davies-group.com.

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