What will the next fight be?
This article first appeared in the Insurance Post on 11 November
As fraudsters and claims farmers continue to diversify from motor into employer’s liability and public liability claims such as trips, slips and noise induced hearing loss, we can observe the same chameleon like characteristics of fraudsters within motor itself. So how are motor fraudsters changing and where are they going next? Certainly, the old frauds are still present, and they are unlikely to go away, but as an industry we are not only much better at spotting them, we are also reducing the opportunities and incentives through a combination of civil reforms, sanctions and technology.
However, the motor fraudster has already moved on. A rise in identify fraud and types of insurance fraud enabled and supported by false ID and ID theft is almost inevitable as fraudsters seek to reduce opportunities for insurers to spot links and associations. With today’s technology it is increasingly easy to forge documents, and then assisted by factors such as the UK’s surplus of National Insurance numbers, loopholes in tracking births, deaths and marriages and a confusing immigration system, create false identities.
A reduction in crash for cash claims is likely given the impressive, sustained media focus on this type fraud. The increase in profile of this scam amongst the public and more law enforcement, coupled with its easy to spot indicators and the increase of the use of dash cams make this is a far less attractive type of fraud for a fraudster to pursue. Instead of these induced accidents we may well see a rise in completely staged accidents, particularly involving older vehicles that are perhaps less likely to be enabled with telemetry. As well as pure paper based accidents where the fraudsters can orchestrate the fraud at arms length.
An unintended consequence of the clampdown on personal injury claims, particularly whiplash is to see motor fraud displaced into property damage only claims, seeking to slip beneath insurers’ counter fraud radar by excluding an injury claim but maximising other losses such as vehicle damage, storage and increasingly, damaged items such as cracked iphone screens.
First party fraud is likely to be another attractive area for fraudsters as they try to circumvent the industry’s perceived prioritisation of counter fraud resource on third party claims.
As the globe continues to shrink opportunities for cross border fraud are likely to continue to rise with fraudsters seeking to exploit areas where fraud controls might be less stringent and claims investigations are made more complex.
For further information please contact Jamie Taylor, Counter Fraud Director on +44 (0)151 907 3053.
This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.