When an Ageas customer reported a break-in at his home, where the thieves had stolen goods and cash to the value of £7,500 and damaged white goods and a tower PC, it seemed like a straightforward claim. That was until one of the items claimed for, an Aspinal of London holdall, was found to have been sold on a well-known auction site before the break-in.

The burglary had been reported to South Wales Police. During their enquiries, they found evidence that items were not stolen as alleged, as some items were still in the customer’s home and others, including a washing machine, had been sold by the customer before the alleged theft. In addition to this, a duplicate claim for government financial assistance to replace the white goods allegedly stolen was also found to have been submitted.

The customer pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud Ageas Insurance, Perverting the Course of Justice by making a false allegation of burglary and fraud by false representation for the additional white goods claim. For these crimes he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 21 months, 15 days of Rehabilitation Activity and placed on curfew for a period of six months.

At the conclusion of the trial Katie Davies, Ageas UK Head of Underwriting Services and Fraud said:

“Insurance fraud may seem like a victimless crime but fictitious claims like this one push up the cost of insurance for all our honest customers.

“Although he has accepted responsibility for his attempted fraud, his actions have had serious consequences for him and has left him with a criminal record.

“To our honest customers, please be assured that we are doing everything we can to detect, disrupt and prosecute fraudsters. It may appear to be an easy crime but we’re working hard to make sure it’s not.”