Police Insure Blog

Insurance Fraud - A Victimless Crime?

The Association of British Insurers estimates the annual cost of fraudulent insurance claims in the UK to be in the region of £2 billion, adding around £50 to cost of every policy taken out. Small scale, opportunistic fraud has been a problem since the insurance industry began and is likely to remain so. What has changed over the past few years is the involvement of organised criminal gangs attracted by increasingly large pay-outs encouraged by a growing blame culture. Some of the established gangs that had previously specialised in more 'traditional' criminal activities, like armed robbery and extortion, have been quick to recognize the potential benefits of operating in a less hazardous field of crime. Insurance fraudsters are unlikely to face teams of armed police officers and even if convicted, the penalties for embezzling insurance companies have historically been light.

 

Insurance fraud has long been regarded as a 'victimless crime', with little public sympathy for the wealthy, often multi-national organisations targeted by the criminals. The British public, while quick to complain about spiralling premiums, have not in the past shown much appetite for action against the fraudsters. It is against this back drop that the big operators have muscled in on a very lucrative and increasingly violent field of activity.

 

Many of the 'Crash for Cash' stings, where road collisions are deliberately staged with the aim of making claims for personal injury, are the work of criminal gangs who recruit and pay the participants. The staged scenarios have become more and more elaborate and it was inevitable that we would eventually see a fatality. On 11th June 2011 Miss Baljinder Kaur Gill, an innocent driver caught up in a staged collision on the A40 at Denham, Buckinghamshire, tragically lost her life. The subsequent conviction and imprisonment of the offenders was scant consolation for Miss Gill's devastated family.

 

The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) is a team of 34 City of London detectives and financial investigators funded by the Association of British Insurers. Led by Detective Chief Inspector David Wood, the team travels the length and breadth of the country investigating insurance crime and bringing offenders to justice. The team can be contacted on 020 7601 2222 for advice or to refer a case (for more details visit the website www.cityoflondon.police.uk)

 

 

Police Insure also works hard to reduce insurance fraud and to keep premiums as low as possible. If you are a police officer (serving or retired), special constable or member of police staff (or the partner of any of these) you can benefit from some of the lowest premiums available in the UK.

 

Go to www.policeinsure.co.uk or call us on 0161 762 4416 - You'll be amazed how much YOU can save !

 

David Griffin

 

 

Written by David Griffin at 00:00

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