“Crash for cash” car insurance scams rose by 51% last year, according to one of the UK’s biggest motor insurers.

Aviva, which insures one in 10 of the cars in the UK, detected about 820 “induced accidents” in 2013.

These faked accidents led to around 2,200 fraudulent claims for personal injury, according to Aviva.

It is calling for harsher sentences for the fraudsters, complaining that the most common punishment is a community order.

Typically, the accidents are caused deliberately by gangs who put in claims for whiplash compensation.

Aviva says that the number of suspicious accidents is likely to be much higher than the hundreds its fraud team has discovered.

The cost of the compensation is borne by honest motor insurance customers through increased premiums.

The company has issued a video showing one crash-for-cash incident, filmed by a camera installed in its customer’s vehicle.

Two drivers in front stop suddenly, forcing the car behind to crash into the rear of one of the vehicles.

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