Reports on the Insurance Fraud Register
Last week the Association of British Insurers released the insurance fraud register (IFR), a register containing the details of every known insurance fraudster. The IFR is an attempt to cut down insurance fraud, a growing crime which could have cost the insurance industry nearly £1bn in 2011. Leading car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk investigates.
In 2011 insurers discovered 139,000 false or embellished claims, a growth of 5% compared to 2010. Furthermore, the fraudulent claims were higher in value on average than they were in 2010, this means that, had this fraud not been detected, the total rise in costs to the industry would have been £983 million - which is an increase of 7% on 2010. While household claims where the most common fraudulent claims, dishonest motor insurance claims the most expensive. The fraudulent car insurance claims which were uncovered saved the insurance industry an incredible £541 million. At the moment insurance fraud adds an extra £50 on average to the yearly insurance bill for every UK policyholder.
Examples of bogus claims uncovered included: A family who had made more than 100 claims for damage to their property; a party of 30 men who hired a coach and all claimed whiplash following a prearranged accident with the car behind and a man who cut his thumb in a gym and made a claim for a more serious injury using a photo which he downloaded from the internet.
The IFR is designed to facilitate the prevention of fraud by making the details of known fraudsters available to insurers. This will not only make it more difficult for insurance cheats to get insurance but credit and other financial products too, this is on top of the criminal record that they may have also obtained when they were caught.
Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director for Tiger.co.uk said: “We at Tiger.co.uk are pleased to see developments being made to reduce insurance fraud. The register will make it far easier for insurance companies to prevent ongoing fraud by having access to information about known fraudsters. Insurance fraud is certainly not a victimless crime, it is the law abiding consumer who is picking up the tab. The IFR will hopefully prevent known fraudsters from making future fraudulent claims which can only be a good thing.”