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Zurich in vanguard as insurers continue to crack down on fraudsters

At a glance

  • Zurich is looking to share its learning on fraud detection with brokers, who continue to provide an effective line of defence against insurance fraudsters
  • Zurich uses a combination of technology, data analytics and proactive human intervention to catch fraudsters
  • The ABI’s recent move to support the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department is a bold statement by insurers to counter fraudulent behaviour

In mid March, the Association of British Insurers sent a strong signal to fraudsters, announcing an increased funding package to support the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) over the next three years.

The package is worth £11.7 million and is a third bigger than the initial deal that was secured to finance the City of London Police Unit from its inception in 2012 to the end of 2014.

The increase will enable IFED to extend the work it is doing throughout England and Wales and add to the hundreds of cautions and convictions it has already secured against those perpetrating insurance fraud.

The creation of IFED and the growing support it receives is a bold statement of intent by insurers and it demonstrates their commitment to counter fraudulent behaviour.

Discover how Zurich is
clamping down on fraud

Combating Fraud

At an individual insurer level, Zurich has a zero tolerance approach to fraud and actively seeks to prosecute anyone making illegal claims.

“Where we have evidence of fraud, we take a hard-line approach and we will not knowingly pay fraud or negotiate with fraudsters,” said Scott Clayton, Claims Fraud and Investigations Manager at Zurich. “We will always look to prosecute. If we do not do this then we will not change the public perception or opinion.”

Better prepared

There is no doubt this approach is working and Zurich is now more geared up and better prepared to catch fraudsters than it has ever been.

Giving some extra detail on Zurich’s approach, Clayton added: “We use a series of red flags and we have these for each line of business, such as personal injury, motor and household. It is about looking for inconsistencies, vague information, incidents that were not witnessed, or unusual times. When was the policy incepted? Is the policy information all present and correct?”

Whether it is improved validation techniques at the front end or a more robust assessment of claims at the back end, Zurich is set up to identify fraud at every stage of the insurance journey and it uses a combination of technology, data analytics and proactive human intervention to do so.

Zurich also relies on its partners to create an effective defensive line against fraud and brokers play an essential part in this.

Where we have evidence of fraud, we take a hard-line approach and we will not knowingly pay fraud or negotiate with fraudsters. We will always look to prosecute. If we do not do this then we will not change the public perception or opinion

Scott Clayton, Claims Fraud and Investigations Manager at Zurich

At the front end, brokers’ own anti-fraud procedures can help to weed out illegitimate applications. And at the back end, robust claims procedures and quick identification of potentially suspicious claims allow Zurich to get involved early on in the claim. This makes it easier to work through any irregularities and uncover fraudulent behaviour.

Helping brokers

Zurich runs a series of training programmes including everything from personal presentations to online print and video material to keep its brokers informed about the latest claims trends and possible problem areas.

Indeed, recent reforms in the legal system are already having an effect.

“A lot of the cost has been stripped out of the motor model and we are now seeing an increase in slip and trip claims,” said Scott. “We are applying a lot of our learning to the liability market to make sure we keep on top of things.”

In sharing this learning with brokers, Zurich will continue to strengthen its anti-fraud position. It will also continue to take a zero tolerance approach to fraud.

Image © Getty

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