Crime: Fraud

Posted in Crime, Fraud, House of Lords, Written Answers on Nov 23, 2010

Lord Sheikh:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address the rise in fraudulent insurance claims.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they will put in place to tackle fraudulent insurance claims.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what mechanisms they will put in place to give companies additional support in detecting cases of insurance fraud.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to prevent insurance fraud.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they will take to address the rising cost of undetected fraudulent general insurance claims.

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): Due to improved measurement, prevention/detection capability and consistently raising the profile of insurance fraud both within the industry and in the public domain, the insurance industry has reported an increase in the number of fraudulent insurance claims that are being detected by insurers and through reports from the public who are increasingly playing a role in helping to identify insurance fraud.

The use of specialised software by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) since 2006 has helped to identify more fraudulent activity in particular areas of the industry, particularly in relation to crash for cash frauds and the involvement of professional enablers, which remains a core focus of attention for the IFB and industry in general.

The insurance industry is an important partner of the National Fraud Authority (NFA) which co-ordinates the implementation of the National Fraud Strategy with partners in Government, law enforcement, the third sector and industry.

As part of this, the NFA works with partners to develop improved information sharing to enable the prevention and disruption of fraudulent activity. The insurance industry is represented by the IFB on a NFA Taskforce to prevent fraud by improving the sharing of information about incidences of fraud across sectors of the economy.

The IFB also shares intelligence and data with, for example, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau-operated by the City of London Police-the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Ministry of Justice. Since its formation, the IFB has helped the police make over 426 arrests in connection with organised insurance fraud, resulting in almost 100 convictions to date.

Working with its membership and with the police in joint investigations, the bureau has successfully disrupted actions of criminal gangs concerning crash for cash frauds.

Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre run by the NFA, refers individuals and businesses with concerns about insurance fraud directly to the insurance industry’s confidential Cheatline, managed by the IFB.

As part of the insurance industry’s continued commitment to reduce fraud, the operational capacity of the Cheatline was increased in September 2010 and the improvements provide a more enhanced facility to deal with the increase in reports being made, which are complemented by online Cheatline reporting.

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    Lord Sheikh is a Conservative Peer, businessman, academic and philanthropist. This is his website.

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