Despite some high-profile cases, insurance fraud is on the decline in the UK. That's in contrast to an overall rise in fraud.
CIFAS, the non-profit group that co-ordinates anti-fraud efforts across the private and public sectors, says it received 396 reports of bogus insurance claims during 2011. That's down by more than a quarter from 537 in 2010.
This isn't simply a case of fraud as a whole declining: the total number of fraud reports was 236,500, up by 9%. Nearly half of those cases involved identity theft.
The reduction in insurance fraud may be the result of measures such as the Motor Insurance Database, which combines details of all insured drivers in the UK. Insurers are increasingly sharing details, meaning those found to make bogus claims may find it much harder to get policies from other providers.
It does appear the CIFAS figures, while showing a trend, don't cover all scams. Accident Exchange, one of the companies that provides replacement cars to insured drivers who have a crash, says it prevented £5 million worth of bogus claims last year. These involved organised schemes to exaggerate the cost of repairs.