Do you know why your insurance premiums go up even when you haven’t made a claim? Most people would hazard the correct guess that it is really down to the cost of fraudulent claims.
Fighting Fraud………According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau the Association of British Insurers estimates the real cost to the average insurance policyholder is £50 a year, for motorists this could be as much as £90. This is in order to cover the deficit in profit caused by the many unscrupulous and fraudulent claims that costs the industry approximately £2.1 billion each year.
So what are the most common types of fraud? Surprisingly, they are not all related to the motor industry.
- Exaggerating injuries whether in a motor vehicle accident, workplace slip or a trip on the pavement is a crime. Insurance companies are waking up to the fact that fraud is happening and are hiring private investigators who specialise in surveillance (fighting fraud) to prove the extent of injuries.
- Be aware of Ghost Brokers. These are people that set up your policy, however they will manipulate your data to get you a lower quote. This may sound appealing, right up until the point where you need to make a claim and then you find you are uninsured as your details were incorrectly updated on the policy.
- Internal fraud is where employees are duping the employer out of money, equipment or even digital data. They do this by submitting padded expense claims, leaking sensitive data in order to enable customers to submit false claims of injury or damaged products, or even by saying that their equipment is lost, broken or stolen and claiming replacements. Again employers are beginning to crack down on this type of fraud.
- Fronting motor policies is probably the most widely socially accepted type of insurance fraud, however its still fraud and therefore still a crime. A fronted policy is one where someone is the main driver of a vehicle but they are not named as such on the policy. Parents often do this for their children as insuring a young person as a main driver can be costly.
How Will A Private Investigator Help In fighting fraud?
What will a private investigator do to determine if a fraudulent act has taken place?
- A private investigator can start by checking digital information on your background. They can perform searches to find out if you have a criminal background by looking through the public court records. In a similar way they can check for any indications that you are in financial difficulty, a common cause of financial difficulty is divorce or unemployment.
- They will often carry out surveillance. This is more common in a benefits, personal injury or a company expenses fraud case. There are several ways that they can do this. They may settle for just visual evidence gained through either a video or still camera.
These lists are not exhaustive, but aim to provide an insight into why and how a private investigator will garner evidence to allow the insurance companies to deny fraudulent claims and submit the evidence to the court in order to convict the wrong doers that are costing us all money.