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Bid to tackle car insurance fraud

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In an effort to help tackle the issue of car insurance fraud, the insurance sector has promised to fund a 35-strong police unit to aid in the prosecution of fraudsters.

Insurers have offered to pay a sum of £9 million to the City of London Police unit to look into the problem and help honest car insurance policyholders.

Warning about an increase in fraudulent claims such as whiplash, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said the average motorist is charged up to £44 a year extra on insurance premiums to make up for the cost of such claims.

The UK is also described as the 'whiplash capital of Europe' by some experts.

The new police unit will primarily concentrate on bringing major insurance fraud cases to trial, while it also aims to develop new measures to prevent the occurrence of fraud, including fake whiplash claims and 'cash for crash' scams.

Currently, the industry is being targeted by teams of crooks, who collaborate with doctors and solicitors to make fraudulent claims.

© Press Association 2011