A minor incident that happened at a petrol station in 2017 turned into a £150,000 personal injury claim which resulted in a court case in 2023.
In 2017 a policyholder insured by Allianz reversed from a closed pump at a petrol station and hit a third-party vehicle, causing minor damage. Allianz accepted liability and repaired the vehicle, but to their surprise they received a personal injury claim six months later from the third party.
The third party claimant was Mr Pritesh Ganatra from Northampton who was claiming injury to his neck, mid and lower back. Mr Ganatra was also claiming loss of earnings, travel expenses, physiotherapy and legal costs.
Allianz referred the claim to its internal claims validation team where they made the decision to decline the claim as dishonest however, court proceedings were then issued from Mr Ganatra where he was claiming over £93,000 in loss of earnings.
Despite Allianz stating that the claim was fraudulent and at odds with the damage caused to the vehicle, Mr Ganatra produced documents in support of his loss of earnings claim. It was here where Allianz believed the documents to be fabricated and instructed their solicitors to investigate and defend the claim.
As part of the investigations Allianz solicitors obtained a Court Order for the extensive disclosure of documents relevant to the loss of earnings that was being claimed. The documents in both Allianz and their solicitors view supported the fact that the loss of earnings claim was false and considered fraudulent.
Mr Ganatra and the Allianz policyholder gave evidence at Northampton County Court in October 2023, where the court found Mr Ganatra was not in fact injured in the low-speed collision and that the documents submitted for his loss of earnings claim were falsified.
Ruling that the claim was fundamentally dishonest, Mr Ganatra was ordered to pay an initial £20,000 towards the legal costs for Allianz and the outstanding costs to be agreed at a later date.
James Burge, head of counter fraud, Allianz Commercial said: “We’ve seen an increase in fundamental dishonesty findings, with fraudsters exaggerating events for financial gain. This case demonstrates the continued work of the teams across Allianz and our solicitors and the zero-tolerance approach that Allianz takes.”
This is a fantastic result for Allianz and hopefully demonstrates that insurance fraud will not be tolerated.