Bogus car accidents staged to defraud insurers
CAR accidents are being staged in a bid to extract thousands of euro from insurance companies.
At least eight individuals attempted to stage an accident involving two separate cars in Munster. The failed scam happened just before Christmas.
Gardai believe it is the latest in a long line of staged incidents, in a bid to extract large settlements from insurance firms by individuals claiming serious injury.
The Irish Independent understands that gardai became suspicious about a so-called two-car collision when eight ambulances were called to the scene on a busy road.
The emergency services were contacted by the passengers of the two cars. They arrived to see a number of passengers lying on the ground claiming they had all suffered serious injury when one car rear-ended another.
But gardai were satisfied that the occupants were attempting to claim they had suffered serious injury from the incident, when the impact of the two cars was extremely minor.
Neither of the vehicles were badly damaged in the incident.
A garda source confirmed that the cars involved were photographed, to ensure if any future fraudulent claims were made, it could be proven that the injuries the passengers claimed they sustained were not consistent with the impact of the collision they were involved in. Both cars were also seized by gardai for further examination.
The road where the accident took place was closed off for three hours while emergency personnel attended the scene.
A spokeswoman for the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) said they did not record the numbers of fraudulent claims that were made each year.
She said the IIF received almost 4,000 calls in the past five years since their Insurance Confidential hotline number to report fraudulent claims was established.
Some of the fraudulent cases that have been exposed in recent months include exaggerated injuries, policyholders holding multiple policies insuring the same items, and staged burglaries.