A claims management company (CMC) is a business that offers claims management services to the public. Often, they offer advice or services to help people making claims pursue compensation, restitution or repayment. Some of their services include providing hire cars, vehicle recovery and assisting with personal injury claims.
Claims management firms involved in personal injury claims are now regulated by the FCA.
Some unscrupulous claim management companies are using search engines to their advantage. The firms are paying search engines, such as Google, to appear at the top of their rankings when drivers search for their insurance company’s phone number after a crash. When clicking on these search results on a mobile device, the handset automatically dials the number, meaning customers never see the website. If they did, they would be able to recognise that it’s not their insurers own site.
Drivers are then connected to another firm, which organises a replacement hire car and has the caller’s own car collected by a recovery company instructed by the CMC. Though customers believe this is all being paid for by their insurer and part of the service offered by their policy, they can end up being liable for significant costs. This Is Money reported one customer had a replacement car for more than a year, costing more than £50,000.
These claims management companies are abusing the trust people put in their insurers and preying on victims at one of their most vulnerable times, following an accident.
Many victims have been liable for thousands of pounds.
Matt Crabtree, complex and organised crime manager at LV=, says: “These claims management companies are abusing the trust people put in their insurers and preying on victims at one of their most vulnerable times, following an accident. I have spoken to numerous people affected by this scam and they all say the same thing - they thought they were talking to LV= and had they known they were through to a CMC they would have hung up straight away.
We have seen customers receive parking tickets and speeding fines when their cars are supposed to have been getting repaired by the CMC, and on one occasion, a customer’s car was sold by the CMC without their knowledge or consent.
As well as the financial risk, people are not getting the service they deserve and pay for when taking out their policy, so we continue to work closely with the wider industry and regulators such as The FCA, The ICO and Trading Standards to ensure those behind these scams are identified and brought to justice.”
When you click on a link after searching for your car insurance provider, make sure it’s legitimate. Several claims firm websites use the name of insurance companies, including LV=, but are not in any way affiliated with genuine insurers. So, if you’re concerned about a suspicious email, phone call or text message, we’ve pulled together some need to know info to keep you safe from scammers.
Remember, if you’re not sure, it’s best to hang up and check your documents for the correct number. If you have an LV= car insurance policy and need to make a claim, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
0800 202 8464
From abroad: +44 1689 898603
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Calls will be recorded. For Text Phone, first dial 18001.
Perhaps consider storing the LV= claims number in your phone or having it in your car should you need to call us following an accident.
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