THE National Police of the Balearics and Catalonia, acting in a joint operation, have arrested six people accused of a car insurance fraud involving more than 2'350 policies valued at more than 700'000 euros. The six were acting as bogus agents for four insurance companies, two of them based in the Balearics. According to police the accused marketed policies for civil responsibilities, covered by four insurance companies, which have nothing to do with the fraud. The arrests were made in May.
The fraud was first detected in Catalonia where the six bogus insurance agents were arrested and later released, and then in the Balearics, where they were arrested again on separate charges. The fraud has left a large number of victims at risk as, unknown to them, they did not have the obligatory insurance cover for their activity. Many of them will continue in this situation until September, when the last of these non-existant policies expires.
Some of the insurance companies affected have published adverts in the media, warning of the fraud.
The amount of money is difficult to ascertain, as the premiums charged varied according to the vehicle insured (ambulance, coach, hire car, etc), but it is believed to be in excess of 700'000 euros. In some cases, the suspects took down information and collected the premiums, which they did not pass on to the insurance company. In other cases, they insured hire cars as though they were private vehicles, pocketing the difference. An alternative method was to collect the premium for a year, but only pass on half the funds to the insurance company. In other cases, they failed to pass the policy details to the company, which only learned of the fraud when a claim arrived.