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40 % Increase in Fraud Cases in first week of Anti-Fraud Campaign Irish Insurance Federation Press Release
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Forty per cent (40 %) Increase in Fraud Cases in first week of Anti-Fraud Campaign Irish Insurance Federation Press Release

__________________________________

21st October 2008

Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) recently re-launched their ongoing anti-fraud campaign and have received a surge in calls from the public in the first week of the campaign.

Insurance Confidential, the hotline run by IIF has received 3610 calls in the last five years since it was established and is calling on the public to continue to report suspect claims. "When we run the anti-fraud campaigns, we get a surge in calls from the public. In the first week of the campaign we saw a forty percent increase in cases reported which indicates that there is still widespread concern among consumers," said Mike Kemp, Chief Executive, IIF. "People are more aware than ever that insurance fraud means their wallet gets hit and reporting suspect claims is one way of preventing that".

A statistical breakdown of costs showed that the majority of cases related to motor injury, with 1752 reports made which accounted for almost fifty per cent of the total.

The highest rate of reporting fraudulent claims come from Dublin where 950 cases were reported. Another 948 reported from the rest of Leinster and 809 from Munster. Cases from Connacht accounted for 386, followed by Ulster with 131.

Some of the fraudulent cases that have been exposed in recent months include exaggerated injuries, policyholders holding multiple policies insuring the same items, and staged burglaries.

The campaign was launched earlier this month and consists of an outdoor poster campaign, radio and press advertising focusing on the criminal aspect of fraud. Some typical fraudulent activities that have been identified through Insurance Confidential or otherwise are outlined below

CASE STUDIES

1. False Report - A husband and wife team were handed down suspended prison sentences earlier this year. They attempted to defraud an insurance company of €250,000 by falsely pretending the husband was driving a car that was involved in an accident resulting in damage to the car and injuries to his wife. Upon Garda investigation it was found that the wife, who claimed to be the passenger, was in fact driving the car at the time of the accident.

2. Exaggerated Injuries - A claim to the value of €80,000 was lodged following a single vehicle accident. The claimant was a passenger in a friend's car. When this case was investigated it was found that although the claimant did suffer injuries, some of the injuries they were claiming for were in fact sustained in a separate subsequent accident seven months after the incident occurred. The claimant was exposed and the judge dismissed the claim in its entirety. This was the first time Section 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 was implemented meaning that the claim failed even though some of it was genuine.

3. Staged Burglary - Two separate claims for burglaries in the same geographic area amounted to €103,000. Upon examination of it was noted that both claims were very similar. When further investigated it was uncovered that both claimants were good friends and it was proven that together they had staged their own burglaries. One of these cases has concluded and was successfully prosecuted. The claimant was made pay €12,000 to the court, which was distributed between charities in the local area. (The second case is ongoing.)

4. Non Disclosure - Three claims were made in a three-month period following the inception of a policy. Upon investigation it was found that the insured had numerous previous convictions and outstanding charges, including road traffic offences which were not disclosed. It was also found the incident circumstances as described by the insured did not tally. The claim was rejected and a saving of €45,000 was made.

5. Fake Invoice - A claim for a burglary that presented for €11,000 worth of contents was made. When the claim was investigated it was established that the invoice the claimant produced was false, the insured subsequently admitted this. This case has been referred to the Fraud Squad.

Notes about this Press Release:

The Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) is the representative body for insurance companies in Ireland representing 63 member companies, which collectively:

• write over 95% of Irish insurance business (over €17 billion in premiums);

• are responsible for the investment of over €90 billion in life policyholder assets and non-life claims reserves; and

• employ over 14,000 people.

Source Irish Insurance Federation

More Information at IIF Website

See also:

Irish Insurance Federation (IIF)

Insurance rates at 25-year low but reform benefits fully absorbed - Irish Insurance Federation - May 2008

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