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A third 'would cheat on insurance'

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Committing home insurance fraud is considered acceptable behaviour by nearly a third of people, a new survey suggests.

According to research group Opinion Matters, 29% of Britons would have no qualms padding up their home insurance claims for damage or theft with extra items, or overvaluing their possessions.

Of those surveyed one in 10 said they would be willing to cheat on their insurance claims to acquire the latest gadget on the market like a new mobile phone.

The study also showed that men were more likely to be dishonest than women and more assured about getting away with fraud.

About 13% of men thought it was okay to cheat on claims and a similar number believed they were unlikely to get caught.

But less than half that proportion of women considered fraud acceptable (6%) or were confident (5%) it would escape detection.

Around 96% of the people questioned said they thought other consumers were dishonest when they claimed on their home insurance, with 62% saying other people exaggerated the value of their possessions by 25% or more.

Insurance fraud is often seen as a victimless crime by consumers, who may have paid premiums for years without previously making a claim.

But the crime actually adds an extra £44 to the average UK household's annual insurance bill, according to the Association of British Insurers.

The group also said the insurance industry uncovered an average of 335 fraudulent claims worth £2.3 million every day.

© Press Association 2011