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UK West Midlands

Top 10 'Crash For Cash' Insurance Scam Areas Revealed

Birmingham tops the list for most reported ‘crash for cash’ insurance scams.

Non-profit organisation, the Insurance Fraud Bureau, have released the top 30 UK postcodes for ‘crash for cash’ hot spots, with Birmingham and Bradford dominating the list.

The Second City had the most representation in the top 30 postcodes with a third of the share, while Bradford and Manchester both had five postcodes each, and the rest being spread out across London, Sheffield, Oldham, Bolton, Blackburn, Liverpool and Wakefield.

Whether you operate as a motor trader or you’re just a normal motorist, the ‘cash for crash’ statistics won’t fill you with confidence, especially if you regularly drive in the postcodes mentioned. 

Crash for cash scam

What Is A ‘Crash For Cash’ Insurance Scam?

According to the IFB, ‘crash for crash’ scams are; “where a fraudster, or group of fraudsters, stages an accident by deliberately damaging a vehicle (often with a sledge hammer or blunt object) or induces a collision on the road, solely for the purpose of financial gain.

“These criminals often target innocent road users in order to profit from fraudulent insurance claims, putting motorist’s lives at risk. Fraudulent motor claims submitted following the accident can also result in false personal injury and credit hire claims. Such scams are estimated to cost the industry £336 million each year, with a single collision potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds.”

Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, Ben Fletcher, said: “These scams may seem to some to be a harmless way to beat the system and get an easy pay out with minimal risk. The reality is that not only do those people now stand a very good chance of getting caught and facing the consequences, but these scams put other motorist’s lives at risk. 

“Fraudsters are taking vehicles out on public roads and forcing innocent people into needless collisions. Not only does that present a real risk of injury, but sadly we know of at least one fatality that has occurred as a result of these incredibly dangerous and reckless incidents. 

“These hotspots may be the worst affected areas for these types of scams, but ‘crash for cash’ collisions can happen anywhere, so it’s imperative that road users are aware of them, exercise appropriate caution and if they believe they’ve been a victim, report it as soon as they can”.


What Does The Data Suggest?

Major towns and cities in Scotland, Wales, the South West and the North East don’t seem to be too affected by the ‘crash for cash’ insurance scams, or at the very least have avoided the Top 30. Insurance scammers operating the ‘crash for cash’ scam appear to be mainly targeting cities and towns in the North West, Bradford and inner city/western areas of Birmingham.

Commenting on the locations, the BBC reported Ben Fletcher as saying: "We don't know the exact reason Birmingham features so heavily in these surveys.”

"Obviously, this is a nationwide problem and we have investigations that range from Kent to the North East, but large urban areas tend to be the focal points for these kind of crimes."

By looking at the postcodes, specific areas of cities are being targeted. B8, B9, B10 and B11 postcodes are all in the top 30, indicating that the inner city and outer city areas of Birmingham are being targeted.

In Bradford the two worst offending postcodes of BD8 and BD9, are both ranked the 4th worst in the UK, and border each other, with BD8 being a central/inner city postcode. Two patterns have begun to emerge; one that suggests specific areas of the cities are being targeted and those areas are likely to be inner city/outer city areas, which could be described as urban.

The theme continues when you look at Manchester, which also has two bordering inner city/outer city postcodes M8 and M9, with the former being ranked 6th and the latter ranked 29th on the list. Interestingly, the Liverpool postcode of L28 is quite far away from the central area of Liverpool. However the layout of Liverpool is less comparable to Birmingham and Manchester, and when you look at the demographics of the postcode, you’ll be able to see it’s a majority working class area, according to statistics gathered by the National Readership Survey, making it a comparable area to the M8 and M9 postcodes.

In fact, when looking at all the postcodes, there is only one with a significant majority of lower middle class to upper middle class, which is the M19 (Manchester) postcode. This suggests that the areas where motorists are most likely to be targeted are working class areas, and in big cities these are likely to be in the inner city or the outer city areas.

The Top 30

  • B8 (Birmingham)
  • B6 (Birmingham)
  • B10 (Birmingham)
  • BD9 (Bradford)
  • BD8 (Bradford)
  • M8 (Manchester)
  • BD3 (Bradford)
  • B25 (Birmingham)
  • OL8 (Oldham)
  • B11 (Birmingham)
  • B9 (Birmingham)
  • M12 (Manchester)
  • BD7 (Bradford)
  • BL3 (Bolton)
  • B66 (Birmingham)
  • B19 (Birmingham)
  • S9 (Sheffield)
  • M19 (Manchester)
  • L28 (Liverpool)
  • WF13 (Wakefield)
  • BD5 (Bradford)
  • N18 (London)
  • OL16 (Oldham)
  • EN3 (Enfield, London)
  • B18 (Birmingham) 
  • N9 (London) 
  • B21 (Birmingham) 
  • M18 (Manchester) 
  • M9 (Manchester) 
  • BB9 (Blackburn)

How To Protect Yourself From Insurance Scams

One of the best ways to ensure you’re protected from ‘crash for cash’ scams is to have a visible dashcam, which can easily prove you aren’t at fault for any staged accidents. It’s also a good idea to know what the signs of a ‘crash for cash’ scam are, which according to the IBF the warning signs include:

  • The other driver acting calm despite being in an accident
  • Driver pre-prepared with insurance details
  • Claiming injuries not matching the impact of the crash

Make Sure You Are Insured

Whether you’re a young driver that needs Car insurance or a motor trader that regularly drives customer cars or your own cars on the road, you’ll need a good insurance policy to help protect yourself. If you are a motor trader, that could mean a Motor Trade Road Risk insurance policy. To get a quote call 0330 127 4100 or click ‘Get a Quote’ below.