Motorists prepared to lie to cut their insurance premiums

A worryingly large number of younger drivers admit they are prepared to lie to their insurers when their policies are due for renewal.

But new research has found that a significant minority of people don’t realise that telling just one small fib constitutes insurance fraud, and it can have serious consequences.

According to the study, nearly 10% of drivers have knowingly given false information when buying policies, and 6% of motorists will consider lying at their next renewal date. Meanwhile, more than a fifth of car or home insurance policy holders say they know people who have committed insurance fraud.

These stats go some way to explaining figures recently published by the Association of British Insurers, showing that fraud hit £1.3bn in 2014.

According to the new research, commissioned by Kwik Fit Insurance Service, fewer than four in 10 car or home insurance policy holders realise it is fraudulent to give false details about their marital status, and about 40% are unaware of the potential criminal consequences of giving false information about the value of their home contents.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, 13% of policy holders don’t consider exaggerated claims to constitute fraud, and 17% don’t realise that hiding their driving convictions from an insurer could have legal consequences.

“The 6% of drivers that will consider committing insurance fraud to save money are putting themselves directly in the sight of criminal investigators,” said Jason Banwell, of Kwik Fit Insurance Service.

“Insurance fraud is no joke. Alongside costing the industry money, customers are putting themselves at risk by not having adequate levels of cover.”

The research suggests that younger people are much more ignorant of the law than their elders. People aged between 18 and 34 are apparently nearly 20 times more likely to lie to get cheaper premiums than those aged 55 and over.