It was a case of ‘bad car-ma’ for a personal injury claimant and the claims management company who advised him, when he was found guilty of making a fraudulent claim against Hastings Direct. The claimant was handed an eight week custodial sentence and ordered to pay £14,000 in costs at Norwich Magistrates Court earlier this month.
The claimant had already received compensation when his vehicle was damaged by a Hastings Direct customer but decided to proceed with a personal injury claim 12 months later, after being contacted by a claims management company. The man claimed he had sustained injuries from being in the car when it was damaged and was unable to work as a result. The personal injury case was brought to court after the Counter Fraud team at Hastings Direct flagged and then investigated the case which unearthed some crucial evidence including a previously given police statement by the claimant who confirmed he was not in the car at the time!
The diligent work of the team at Hastings Direct and its appointed solicitors, Horwich Farrelly, led to the judge at Norwich Magistrates Court handing down the custodial sentence where he also highlighted the growing problem of claims management companies.
Mark Hudson, Head of Counter Fraud at Horwich Farrelly added, “Insurance providers face a systematic problem when dealing with fraudulent whiplash claims. Whilst it is now commonplace to receive numerous cold calls following an incident, people need to be aware of the consequences of bringing a personal injury claim when they know they weren’t injured. It’s a sorry tale because this young man now has a criminal record and will spend time in prison.”
Paul Priestley, Director of Hastings Direct’s Counter Fraud department said, “We are very happy with the decision of the court. This case demonstrates that Hastings Direct has a zero tolerance for fraud and is committed to protecting honest customers. We will use all appropriate means to pursue and deter fraudsters.
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About Hastings Direct
Hastings Direct is a fast growing, agile, data and digitally focused general insurance provider to the UK market, with over 2.5 million live customer policies and employing over 2,900 colleagues at sites in Bexhill, Leicester and Newmarket. Hastings Direct has built its business by providing refreshingly straightforward customer service and products and offer car, bike, van and home insurance directly to the public.
Hastings Direct is a trading name of Hastings Insurance Services Limited, the UK trading subsidiary of Hastings Group Holdings plc, which also trades via “People’s Choice” and “insurePink”.
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