Allianz is celebrating another successful finding of fundamental dishonesty, after a court of appeal ruled that two opportunists had exaggerated their personal injury claims.
The claimants alleged they had been involved in a collision with Allianz’s insured, resulting in both attending medical examinations after the accident and allegedly complaining to be in pain 12 months following the incident.
The case was taken to trial after the vehicle’s GPS ruled out that Allianz’s insured had no involvement in the collision, indicating that this was a case of mistaken identity. After the defendant successfully opposed both applications, the claimants discontinued their respective cases and left court before giving evidence, with the hope of not paying their claims costs.
Furthermore, the evidence from the claimant’s own insurance engineer contradicted the claimant’s description of the vehicle damage as ‘severe’ after the inspection proved the damage was ‘light’. The court ruled this was a case of fundamental dishonesty after agreeing there had been ‘conscious and substantial material exaggeration of the symptoms’ resulting in Allianz’s insured being able to recover the costs.
On balance the appeal court considered that there was enough evidence to conclude that both claimants had exaggerated their injuries and the severity of any incident and went on to dismiss both appeals.
Nick Kelsall, technical claims manager at Allianz, said: “This is another significant and positive case for the industry. I hope it is used as a great example of tackling the real and live problem of dishonest and exaggerated claims.
“This is the second major finding of fundamental dishonesty Allianz has obtained in a matter of months, showing that Allianz will stand firm and fight when it’s the right thing to do. What is clear is that Allianz will not be seen as a soft touch when it comes to dishonest and exaggerated claims and it is important that we continue to protect our customers’ interests in this way”.
Mike Dobson, partner at insurance and risk law firm BLM, said: “We are extremely pleased with the judgment. From the start of this case, it became clear to us that there were many inconsistencies in the stories of the claimants, who looked to hide behind existing legislation to avoid costs. Unfortunately, personal injury will always be an area plagued with fraudulent or dishonest claims, but the extension of fundamental dishonesty provided by this case should help to reduce the number of fraudulent claims in the future.”
Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz SE Group, the largest property and casualty insurer worldwide.
Around 85 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz's knowledge, global reach, capital strength and solidity to help them make the most of financial opportunities and to avoid and safeguard themselves against risks.
In 2015, over 142,000 employees in more than 70 countries achieved total revenues of approximately 125.2bn euros.