While Apple iPhone 4G-related rumours continue to spread across the Internet, with a anticipated launch later this year, a UK insurance company has claimed upgrades help fuel insurance fraud.

Gadget and lifestyle insurance specialists Supercover Insurance, said claims for iPhones typically spiked by 50 per cent during the month in which a new model was introduced by Apple.

"While most customers take out insurance because they value their iPhone, we started to notice increases in claims as new and upgraded iPhones were launched - for short periods around new model or upgrade launches, claims for lost, stolen or damaged iPhones go through the roof," Carmi Korine, a director at Supercover Insurance told PCR magazine.

Many iPhones reportedly show signs of user inflicted abuse, including hammer blows and in once incidence being 'driven over by a car', the insurance company insisted.

"iPhones, like most mobile phones, are actually very difficult to damage. Very badly damaged iPhones draw attention because they turn up in a state that even being driven over by a car or dropped from a tall building will fail to achieve."

The insurance company says it rejects around a quarter of the 40 per cent or so of claims it deems are suspicious.

Supercover added that insurance for the iPhone was the fastest growing type of insurance in the gadgets sector, with iPhone owners 60 per cent more likely to take out cover than other mobile phone users.

Supercover Insurance began life as Mobile Phone Supercover in 1995 to provide extended warranty for mobile phones only. The company now covers mobile phones, laptops, PC's, Satellite Navigation Systems, iPod's, MP3 Players, TV's and more, with around one thousand Channel Partners across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and 100,000 plus active customers.

Recent iPhone 4G rumours have included a bigger iPad inspired screen, OLED display, removable battery, addition of video conferencing and Taiwanese company Pegatron joining Foxconn in producing the phones.

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs reportedly told staff last week at a rare Town Hall style meet-up that the next iPhone would be a "A+ update."