The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has launched a new initiative to help combat the rising number of fraudulent and exaggerated insurance claims. Called the ‘Insurance Fraud Register‘ it comprises of a database to hold the details of all known fraudsters. It will be operated by the Insurance Fraud Bureau.
An ABI report in 2011 quoted the following facts regarding the escalating incidence of insurance fraud:
- Insurers detected 139,000 bogus or exaggerated insurance claims, up 5% on 2010. The value of savings on these frauds was almost £983m – a rise of 7% on 2010;
- Home insurance frauds were the most common, with 71,000 detected dishonest claims, valued at £106m; and
- Dishonest motor insurance claims were the most expensive, with savings of £541m made from the 45,000 bogus claims uncovered. Fraudulent whiplash claims were the main factor for the rise.
ABI director general Otto Thoresen is quoted as saying:
The industry makes no apologies for its zero-tolerance approach to insurance fraud. Honest customers are sick of footing the bill for insurance cheats, through higher insurance premiums. From the highly organised ‘crash for cash’ motor scams to the opportunistic exaggeration of a genuine claim, insurers are determined to do what it takes to protect honest customers.
It is hoped that the register will help insurers combat fraudulent claims by making details of known fraudsters available to insurers.