Insurance Commission targets false and misleading claims

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Insurance Commission targets false and misleading claims

Still from surveillance footage of claimant

1 March 2020

  • Twelve people caught for providing false or misleading information in their motor injury insurance claims
  • $3.1 million has been avoided in costs for WA motorists
  • Providing false or misleading information to the Insurance Commission can result in a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $10,000

Twelve people have been prosecuted by the Magistrates Court of Western Australia for providing false and misleading information in an attempt to secure financial reward from their motor injury insurance claims.

The Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943 makes it an offence to provide false or misleading information to the Insurance Commission.

The claims investigated for false or misleading information have resulted in avoided costs for motorists of more than $3.1 million.

The cases include claimants attempting to claim lost wages for time off work while they were actually working and exaggerating the extent of their injuries.

In one case, a person claimed to his doctor that he required the use of a neck brace, walking sticks and a gopher when video footage showed him using none of those aids the day prior to attending the doctor's appointment.

In another case, a person tried to claim lost wages three times from the Insurance Commission, but his employer confirmed that he was either on a holiday overseas or at work every time.

There are currently another seven cases to be heard in the Court later this year.

Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:

"WA's motor injury insurance scheme exists to provide care and compensation to people injured in car crashes.

"People who falsely claim they are unable to work or exaggerate their injuries for financial reward, undermine the integrity of the scheme and place upward pressure on insurance premiums for all motorists to cover that cost.

"The Insurance Commission has released the results of these prosecutions to remind all claimants to be honest when making a motor injury claim.

"It's not worth the risk of a criminal conviction, the fine, and consequences that comes from breaking the law and appearing in Court."

More about the false and misleading motor injury insurance claims prosecuted in Court can be found here:

Example One

The claimant pleaded guilty to four charges of providing false and misleading information about injuries he sustained in a car crash in May 2017. Between September and November 2017, he made three requests for lost-wage payments. However during that time, he was working for a taxi company and also took an international holiday. He was fined $1,000 for each false request. He was also fined $1,000 for falsely advising his doctor that he had been unable to work since the car crash.

Example Two

The claimant pleaded guilty to providing false and misleading information about his motor injury insurance claim. At a medical examination almost two years post-crash, he told the doctor that “…he had lower and mid back pain to such an extent that he had not worked since October 2015, that he had difficulty with tasks that involved manual handling or mobility, and that he was no longer able to go fishing, camping and four-wheel driving.” Video footage showed that four days later, he went fishing and was seen pushing and lifting the bow of a boat to release it from its trailer. Upon seeing the video footage, the doctor concluded the injuries were “…nowhere near as severe as he had claimed”.

Page Last Updated 16 Apr 2020

Media contact

Kane Blackman
Commission Secretary
+61 8 9264 3556
+61 418 255 549