If you’re a van driver and you’re living in Birmingham, do not be surprised if your van insurance premium rise outstrips other regions in the country when you come to renew this term.
Figures released by the Insurance Fraud Bureau for April-June 2011 show the second city as being the most chosen spot by gangs operating ‘crash for cash‘ scams for the sixth quarter in succesion.
It seems measures put in place by the IFB, who are working with 17 police forces across the UK to break down these gangs, are just not working in several identified hotspots in the UK. This high-volume of organised crime is costing individuals and businesses, according to analytic data, almost £60M; these increased costs will be waiting behind quotes every time organisations search online for van insurance, and this doesn’t take into account the running costs that the collaboration between the insurance regulators and the Met has racked up so far
Those costs will come directly from the public purse, which is why David Cameron has started 2012 on what seems a very personal crusade cracking down on personal injury solicitors and the fraudulent claims rackets which are adding unnecessary pressure to households and businesses, already struggling to keep their fragile bottom lines in the black, without having to endure rise upon rise on their fleet or individual truck and van insurance because of the increased number of payouts.
Other blackspots in the UK for ‘crash for cash’ operations are in the North/North West, with Sheffield retaining its second spot and Manchester likewise unmoved in third.
To date, there have been almost 500 arrests in connection with these crimes, which gives you some idea of how large a scale we’re talking, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The IFB incorporates sophisticated software ploughing through 128 million recorded insurance records to identify areas where forces need to exert more man-power, the league being that guide.
Glenn Marr, of the IFB, summed up the organisation’s role and its integration at investigative level with the UK police forces by confirming that the software can not only identify the areas where activity is most rife, but also identifies patterns to help link the members of the gangs who are profiting to the detriment of businesses looking for cheap van insurance when they come to renew their fleet cover.
So far, of the 486 arrests, there have been 119 convictions, totalling only 91 years actual custodial sentences. With a crime so lucrative and punishment so lenient, the current laws look unlikely neither to stop this criminality nor the soaring cost of van insurance.
If you’re having trouble getting a cheaper van insurance quote because you live in one of the hotspots, try our top, middle or bottom cheap van insurance comparison facility to see if you can shave anything off your renewal premium.