A bricklayer working out of Stockton-on-Tees area who tried to claim £200,000 from insurance giant Axa has pleaded guilty to contempt of court and was sentenced to a six month jail term, suspended for two years.
Paul Havert submitted a claim to his employers ( policyholders of Axa) advising he could not return to work as a bricklayer because of suffering a work-related wrist injury.
The commercial lines and personal intermediary departments at Axa made interim payments of £30,000. Following this, the civil trial at Middlesbrough County Court was awarded damages of£40,661 by District Judge Stapeley, on the basis that he had suffered a real injury.
In a twist however, the judge did not accept Havert’s account in relation to his financial situation, and the French insurer Axa subsequently brought contempt of court proceedings against him for lying about his past and current financial conditions.
According to Insurance Age, only moments before the contempt trial held by the Honourable Mr Justice Males on 13 January 2015, Havert, 37, admitted contempt for not having reported earnings from other employment in the first civil trial.
The claims fraud manager at Axa Mr Frost,said: “Although this is just one victory in the fight against fraud it is important that Axa and all other insurers pursue and prosecute fraud wherever it is attempted.
“Havert had attempted to execute a significant fraud against us and our determination to protect our shareholders and honest customers from the cost of fraud should send out a clear message to anyone who seeks to defraud us either systematically or by inflating a genuine claim, as was the case here.”
Mr Frost also added: “The industry’s fight against fraud is really building up a head of steam and it would appear that we are beginning to secure real support from the justice system in our endeavours to prosecute these fraudsters.”
Also in the news, cheap public liability insurance continues to prevail in the UK insurance market with insurers evermore building capacity to accommodate large books of business, which is good news for ground workers insurance, cheap plumbers insurance and the industry as a whole.