This blog was co-authored by Maria Leyva, Litigation Assistant, Manchester office.

Last year brought many new challenges and obstacles. There was however, one constant; the Fundamentally Dishonest claimant. Here are some of our favourite “GOTCHA” moments from 2020:

  1. The claimant who alleged that he could not walk without his crutches, who was caught out when his own doctor noted in his medical records that they saw him walking into the GP surgery unaided without issue.
  2. The claimants who not only tried to withhold their relevant holiday photographs but also edited their social media posts to try and falsely create contemporaneous evidence of illness.
  3. The claimant who stood 4 ft 6 inches tall but alleged she had been hit by a bus wing mirror, at a height of 6 ft.
  4. The policyholder, who denied knowing the claimant, but then left an official letter addressed to the claimant in his car´s glove box; which was found by our attending forensic engineer.
  5. The claims involving a very popular hire car; it was so popular that it was being hired by two different people, at the same time, for over a month.
  6. The claimants who couldn’t walk without crutches, drive or lift caught by surveillance driving to and shopping at his local Asda, lifting his toddler son in and out of the car seat and trolley seat.
  7. The claimant who had a legitimate claim but provided a false statement alleging his son (who had not brought a claim) was in the car with him. The claimant driver’s genuine claim was dismissed on the basis of fundamental dishonesty.
  8. The hire agreements, allegedly signed by two different claimants, on two different claims, with mysteriously matching signatures.
  9. The claimant who served an motor insurance certificate in support of his claim. The MID check however confirmed that the vehicle was insured by a different company. Enquiries confirmed that the certificate was not genuine.  
  10. The claimant who provided copies of “images taken at the scene of the accident”. Most of these images matched the accident location and were taken outside on a sunny day. However, one of the images, taken of the defendant driver’s photo licence, was taken indoors, in what looked like an office. The metadata of the photograph confirmed that it had been taken hours before the accident in an obviously different location to the rest of the images. 

Fraudulent claims will continue to challenge us and we need to remain vigilant to new and different ways in which the claims process can be exploited. 

Each of the claimants above were unsuccessful in their attempts to pursue a dishonest claim and these positive outcomes help demonstrate the importance of a good fraud detection and investigation strategy.    

Now we are in 2021, we wait with anticipation of more GOTCHA moments. We will ensure that our clients and our strategies continue to identify fraudulent behaviour and deter the claims from being pursued in the first place.  

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