One of the country's largest insurers has said it is investigating staged crashes in Donegal that are carried out by “organised rings” of people that could have potential claims of more than €1.2million.
Axa Insurance has said it is investigating 19 accidents suspected of having been staged in Co Donegal and 36 allegedly staged accidents in Co Galway and another.
It said the potential costs of claims arising out of the various accidents is in excess of €3.2m, The Irish Examiner reports.
Chief Superintendent Eoin Smullen of Galway gardaí confirmed “a number of road collisions” are currently under investigation.
Axa set up its own Special Investigation Unit in 2002 and it now comprises 19 people.
The insurer said that last year it opened more than 600 investigations in relation to suspect personal injury, accidental and third party damage, and household claims.
Attention has turned more recently to allegations of staged car crashes.
A company spokesperson said: “In recent times, Axa has identified organised rings of persons involved in staged traffic accidents in certain areas of the country which include Donegal and Galway.
“In particular in the Galway region, we have found links between persons involved in over 35 suspected staged accidents where personal injury claims are being pursued by over 190 third party claimants for a total sum in excess of €2m.
“In Donegal, we have 36 ongoing investigations into claims involving Donegal policyholders. Of the 36 claims being investigated, 19 are believed to be staged accidents, and those 19 staged accidents currently hold a combined reserve in excess of €1.2m.”