Exaggerated home insurance claims have surged in the past year amid the recession, research suggests.
Axa said the industry is seen as a "soft target" by people who are strapped for cash. The insurer's study found 9 per cent of people who said they had made a claim in the last five years had exaggerated it, typically adding £607 on to their totals.
The figure is up from 7 per cent in a similar survey a year ago.
Exaggerated claims related to televisions, particularly before big sporting events, jewellery or cash that never existed, designer goods that were actually fakes and people claiming they had a freezer filled with lobster and steaks.
Axa also found that men are nearly twice as likely to have made an exaggerated claim than women.