AXA uses fundamental dishonesty defence to force withdrawal of fake £25,000 personal injury claim

AXA has used the fundamental dishonesty defence to force two fraudsters to withdraw fake but financially significant personal injury claims resulting from a minor motor incident with an AXA customer.

3 September 2015

Posted in Community

by Daniel O’Byrne (see media contact)

AXA’s customer registered a claim explaining that their passenger had opened a rear door, whilst stationary in a car park, which made light contact with a neighbouring vehicle. When contacted, the driver of the third party vehicle, Shakil Ashraf Kamal, confirmed the insured’s version of events but subsequently submitted a personal injury claim as did his passenger, Kerry Louise Keenan.

When AXA raised concerns about the personal injury claims based on the minor nature of the incident, both claimants submitted medical evidence showing a 12-month prognosis for a cervical spine injury resulting in a personal injury claim totalling nearly £25,000.

The accident description provided in the medical report for Kamal claimed “the car was stationary in a car park and was side shunted” whereas Keenan asserted that “another vehicle��s nearside door opened and struck the driver’s side”.

AXA informed the claimants’ solicitors that no offer would be made and entered a defence to the litigation pleading that both claims were fundamentally dishonest. The claims were subsequently withdrawn and AXA was awarded costs of over £18,000 against the claimants.

Commenting on the case, Tom Wilson, Counter Fraud Manager at AXA Insurance, said: “This is yet another example of certain members of the public thinking insurers are a soft touch for fraud and that we won’t challenge these opportunistic attempts.

“The court’s finding that both claims were fundamentally dishonest and its decision to award costs to AXA should act as a warning of the potential repercussions for those who would commit fraud. It is often assumed that organised fraud represents the greatest threat to the industry but in fact, it is this almost casual, instinctive reaction to try to fleece insurers that costs the most.

“AXA will defend itself robustly against all fraud and we will continue to make every effort to educate the public about the ramifications of exaggerating or fabricating claims.”

This case follows the recent successful convictions of Scott Brough and Carl Wilson who had attempted to perpetrate a similar opportunistic fraud.