Not only insurers, but many ordinary motorists, will have read with interest reports in the Daily Mail regarding former NHS nurse Nicola Bartlett.
Bartlett was convicted for her part in a series of staged crashes whereby she sought to claim more than £16,000 in an elaborate insurance scam with Easifix garage in Newport.
Investigators became suspicious of the claim and took a closer look at the garage where CCTV footage revealed a Land Rover being deliberately driven into a forklift truck. Further investigations unravelled a link with the garage to 28 fraudulent crashes with pay outs totalling £750,000 between 2009 and 2011
Bartlett was jailed for 1 year as a result of her part in the ‘cash-for-crash’ scam. She has now been banned from nursing for life after receiving a striking off order from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Bartlett’s argument that she had nursing experience and skills to offer were outweighed, according to the tribunal, by the potential damage to public confidence in the profession, if she were allowed back into nursing.
The message to motorists is clear – if you are caught and prosecuted for making a fraudulent claim then the consequences may be serious and life-changing.
Insurers will welcome the decision and the deterrent effect this will have. Acting for a range of clients, we continue to see identify, manage and repudiate claims arising out of staged and contrived accidents. Following findings of fundamental dishonesty and fraud, insurers and organisations are increasingly seeking advice on applications for referral to the CPS; exemplary damages; recovery of costs; contempt of court proceedings; and private prosecutions. Therefore it is encouraging to see that professional bodies are also supporting insurance industry messages to make insurance fraud socially unacceptable.