The Insurance firm ‘Axa’ has stated that it is currently investigating 36 allegedly staged accidents in Co Galway and another 19 suspected such accidents in Co. Donegal.
The company, one of the largest insurers in the country, claim that the potential costs of such claims arising out of the various accidents, are likely to be in excess of €3.2m.
This information comes to light at a time when the motor insurance industry has come under scrutiny; with government departments, at the end of last year, publishing various reports on issues surrounding soaring premium costs.
Axa, who back in 2002, initially set up its own Special Investigation Unit, are understood to have opened up more than 600 investigations in relation to suspect household claims; personal injury claims; accidental and third party damage claims and allegations of staged car crashes.
The company have identified organised rings of persons involved in staged traffic accidents in certain areas of the country, and in particular the Galway region. Links have been found where personal injury claims are being pursued for a total sum in excess of €2m.
In Co Donegal, 19 such ongoing investigations, also suspected of being staged accidents, are being pursued for in excess of €1.2m.
It is estimated that the cost of motor insurance fraud nationally represents a figure of some €200mn, placing approximately €50 on the average sold motor premium.