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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 17:25 GMT
Fraud costs insurers 20m a week
Charles Ingram
Charles Ingram is 'typical' of insurance fraudsters, a survey has found
Fraudulent insurance claims like those made by "millionaire" cheat Charles Ingram cost the industry 20m a week.

Experts say the former major is not an unusual offender, and that there is a strong middle class, "white collar" element to the crime.

A survey of 1,880 people with motor, travel and household policies, commissioned by the Association of British Insurers found high levels of indifference to the crime among the public.

A total of 47% of adults said they would not rule out the possibility of making an exaggerated claim, while 37% would not rule out the idea of making up a claim altogether.

Well-educated

The study, published earlier this year, also showed that people who exaggerated claims were more likely to be male, aged 35 to 44 years old, married and well educated.

The insurance industry has been keen to emphasise that one of its biggest problems is convincing the public that fraud is not a "victimless crime" and that the people who suffer are honest policy holders.

Nick Young, a London-based solicitor specialising in insurance fraud, said: "The survey showed that most opportunists were male, married, with mortgages or home owners in full-time work and educated to at least 19 years of age and financially active.

"So it is more a case of Mr Middle England rather than Arthur Daley.

"This dispels the myth that insurance fraud is only perpetrated by Arthur Daley-type people who use it to fund their next holiday in Magaluf."


SEE ALSO:
'Millionaire' major guilty of fraud
28 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire
The man behind the scams
28 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire
Major 'did not declare claims'
21 Oct 03  |  Wiltshire


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