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Fraud costs homeowners more - study

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Honest home insurance holders are having to fork out an extra £13 a year in premiums because of an increase in fraudulent claims, according to a new study by insurer Axa.

The insurer said that a third of brokers reported an increase in the number of exaggerated claims submitted compared with the previous year.

Of those questioned as part of the study, 8% admitted having added an average of £2,898 to the real cost of their home insurance claim.

A further 36% said they would think of exaggerating an insurance claim if they were to make one, with nearly half (47%) considering it to be "fair game" or "not too bad".

A tenth of those polled think it was all right to exaggerate a claim as everyone did it, with a further 6% saying they thought insurance firms could afford it.

People are most likely to exaggerate the value of a television, with the number of such claims often peaking before big events such as the Football World Cup.

Other common scams include making a claim for a designer watch, which was actually a counterfeit one bought abroad, claiming for a freezer full of expensive food, and exaggerating claims for cash that was stolen following a burglary.

© Press Association 2011