Home insurance a 'soft target' as number of fraudulent claims rises

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.