In the latest data released this week, it has been revealed that out of every 100 insurance claims, 6 are attempted scams, resulting in an increase cost of 1,190 million euro per year, almost 20% more than in the last report from 2013, a cost which is inevitably passed on to those who choose to insure their vehicle correctly.
This data has been collated in the third such report since 2009, which reveals that 94.5% of attempted fraudulent claims are related to property damage, although the average claim is around 550 euro. Fraudulent injury claims make up 4.5% of the total, but with the average claim reaching 17,300 euro, the cost is far more than property.
Damage resulting in the total loss, or damaged beyond repair, is the most commonly occurring fraudulent claim, representing 3 out of 4 of these claims. In terms of claims of physical injury, whiplash is the most common fraudulent claim.
Most fraudulent claims are made in the summer months, between May and July, and in January, with Monday being the most likely day that fraudulent claims are made with 19% of all cases recorded. During the weekend, there are only 10% on a Saturday and 9% on a Sunday, as the fraudsters presumably enjoy their rest period.
The Murcia region is in the top three locations for insurance fraud, along with Cuenca and Jaén, whereas Soria, Salamanca and Burgos are the locations with the least fraudulent cases.
The average amount of each attempted fraud across the country is around 1,284 euros, 45% more than in 2013, although there are significant variations between some provinces. In Huesca, Lugo and Almería the average fraudulent claim is 4,800€, 3,600€ and 3,200€ respectively, whereas the fraudsters in Segovia, Zamora and Zaragoza make the smallest claims, with just 230€, 301€ and 390€ respectively on average.
The profile of the most prolific fraudster is a young male, under 26, with precarious employment or unemployed, or, surprisingly almost the opposite, middle-aged, educated and gainfully employed.
Men are more likely to boast of their fraudulent claims, even to strangers, whereas women pretend their injuries are worse than they are.
However, according to another report which surveyed of more than 1,200 drivers throughout Spain reveals that the intent to commit fraud has halved from two years ago. In addition, 73% of drivers (the equivalent of 19 million) would be willing to report someone if you got a direct economic benefit in return, a very common practice in the US or UK.
Nevertheless, more than 5 million motorists admit that they might commit fraud if they knew they would not be discovered. There is also greater awareness of the legal implications involved in these practices.