Aviva Insurance to request Garda inquiry into fake crash case

Company’s stance part of more aggressive approach by industry to fraudulent claims

Darren Mulhall: “It was all over in a flash.” Photograph: Coillins Courts

Darren Mulhall: “It was all over in a flash.” Photograph: Coillins Courts

 

Aviva Insurance is to ask the Garda to launch a criminal investigation into a case in which six men made compensation claims after what a judge described as a “set up” road crash.

The company’s response to the case is part of a more aggressive approach by the insurance industry to fraudulent compensation claims. The costs arising from them are ultimately borne by regular policyholders through higher premiums. Claims by five of the men were withdrawn in Dublin Circuit Court last Monday after it was shown the car that caused the “crash” in which they were allegedly injured was owned by a relative of one of them.

A sixth man withdrew his claim prior to the case opening.

The six men – Darren Mulhall, Stephen O’Shaughnessy, Anthony Dolan, Mark Carroll, Alan O’Brien and Gerard Black – between them have multiple criminal convictions. The five taking cases were each seeking up to €60,000 compensation for injuries they claimed to have sustained in a minor road crash in Tallaght, Dublin, on March 12th, 2013.

Car that vanished

Had the five succeeded in their cases, insurers faced a payout of up to €300,000, plus legal costs. Fighting the case cost the industry several hundred thousand euro.

A spokesman for Aviva said: “We intend to provide all the available evidence we have to enable the gardaí to take appropriate action.”

Rob Smyth, Aviva’s fraud manager, said the industry was committed to combating staged accidents by increased collaboration with the Garda, sharing data between insurance companies, and campaigning for smaller compensation payouts.Patrick O’Brien, chief executive of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, which fought the case, said the organisation wanted to see fraudsters prosecuted.

“We’re committed to aggressively challenging fraudulent claims and thoroughly investigating all aspects of suspicious claims,” he said.