Black boxes in cars are being used by insurers to stop fraudulent claims

 Car insurance companies are turning to black box data to help catch-out fraudsters and reduce the amount of bogus claims. 

Car insurers are using data from black boxes to help catch those making fraudulent car insurance claims.

Telematics boxes are used primarily to provide ‘pay as you go’ insurance premiums, as they analyse how motorists drive (speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, time of journey etc…) and calculate how much the cover should cost each month. But now insurers are starting to use that data to also analyse claims and spot bogus ones.

In one recent case two drivers had claims that their cars were badly damaged in an accident.

However, one of the driver’s insurance company, insurethebox, discovered that the crash was not as severe as the driver was claiming after they looked at the black box data. The initial reports of the accident from the claimant – who was driving a BMW M Sport – seemed to match the information in the black box device in the other car that was involved in the crash – a Hyundai Coupe.

insurethebox decided to investigate further though when the level of damage to the BMW didn’t quote match up to the telematics data. On further investigation the black box identified crash alerts AFTER the accident was supposed to have happened – suggesting that the Hyundai had been used to increase the amount of damage to the BMW later on.

It was revealed that the BMW had been subjected to a series of extra collisions using the Hyundai in a different location following the initial accident, and the investigation also found that it had been hit at least five times with a hammer in a bid to increase the value of the claim.

A judge therefore ruled that the claim was fraudulent and that the claimant was a conspirator in the fraud.

Both drivers eventually admitted the fraud and were ordered to pay insurethebox £70,000 in damages.

Adrian Steele, group claims director for insurethebox said following the ruling:

This case once again demonstrates the role telematics data is playing in our claims investigations, providing a valuable piece in the jigsaw when we are working to understand the full picture of a claim.

It also underlines the claims expertise we have in our business, bringing together disparate pieces of information to see where anomalies are occurring which give rise to deeper investigation.

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