Tuesday 17 September 2019

Fraudsters cost insurers €90m ever year in fake accident claims

'Lying' claimant has €60,000 demand thrown out by judge

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Ray Managh

Fradulent road traffic accident claims are costing insurance companies an estimated €90m a year, a spokesman for the industry has claimed.

Cyril Moloney, on behalf of Allianz Ireland, was speaking after a Latvian national, described by a judge as "a liar" and a man not to be trusted, had lost a €60,000 damages claim for injuries he allegedly suffered in a road traffic accident.

Barrister Grainne Larkin, for Allianz Insurance and its insured, Stuart Scott, of Clonuske Park, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, told the court that when asked in writing prior to the case if he had been involved in any previous accident, Edgars Peka had confirmed he had received €6,500 for an accident in 2013.

In evidence in the Circuit Civil Court, Peka told Ms Larkin that this had been the only accident he had been involved in apart from the one before the court for which he was seeking €60,000 damages.

However, the court heard he was involved in another road traffic accident in 2015, and had received compensation of €10,000.

Ms Larkin had told the court that liability had been admitted in the September 2014 accident, but the defendant was questioning the extent of Peka's injuries and his credibility.

Peka, with an address at Belfry House, The Oaks, Ridgewood, Swords, Co Dublin, had claimed €60,000 damages for injuries arising from a rear ending at a roundabout near the Pavillion Shopping Centre Swords in September 2014.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane, in dismissing Peka's claim and awarding costs against him, said she had been satisfied he had brought a fraudulent claim. The judge described Peka as a liar and a man not to be trusted.

Exaggerated

After her judgment, Cyril Moloney, on behalf of Allianz, issued a statement in which he said the outcome of the case vindicated Allianz Ireland's ongoing zero tolerance stance with potential fraudsters who may either have exaggerated their case or made spurious claims.

"Insurance fraud has grown with one in 10 road traffic accident claims in Ireland now thought to be spurious or exaggerated," Mr Moloney said.

This year alone Allianz had challenged more than 1,500 court claims, he said.

Irish Independent

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