Insurance firm AVIVA this week released figures which it claimed pointed to a 51% rise in fraudulent road traffic claims in the UK since 2013 as a result of ‘crash for cash’ gangs.

Tom Jones, head of policy and public affairs at Thompsons said:

“Thompsons has serious concerns about the latest ‘crash for cash’ figures published this week. These look every inch engineered by AVIVA Plc to continue in its unstinting effort to talk up a ‘compensation culture’ in the UK.

“This is a business interest using subjective reporting and speculation in order to influence the public’s perception of crime levels and government policy.

“The statistics are taken exclusively from AVIVA’s own case intake, having been classed as ‘fraudulent’ according to their own criteria. We know that will include genuine claims with genuine mistakes such as a ‘typo’ on an address in a claim form.

“Where is the independent analysis or scrutiny of the ‘findings’? Where is raw data to support the suggestion that insurance scams rose by 51% in the last 12 months?

“AVIVA says the cost of ‘crash for cash’ compensation: “is borne by honest motor insurance customers through increased premiums.”

“We say why is a ‘leading insurer’ paying out on claims that they ‘know’ – they claim they know – are fraudulent? If it’s fraud, it’s fraud and they shouldn’t pay out.

“The AVIVA Department of Creative Crises is riding high; frightening the public and painting Armageddon scenarios to government all of which helps keep premiums high and shareholders happy. Why should AVIVA come clean about the millions of pounds of profit it makes from the UK car insurance market when it can distract attention with a bit of shroud waving about so-called ‘scams’?”